Incumbent President Peter Mutharika yesterday went on a campaign trail ahead of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections on a continuity platform, urging voters to retain his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for continued development.
The President spoke during whistle-stop rallies he addressed at Kapiri Trading Centre, Mikundi Trading Centre, Mchinji Boma and Tembwe Trading Centre where hundreds of people attended.
In his addresses, Mutharika stressed that it is only the DPP-led administration that can ensure continued development in the country. He said opposition political parties have no welfare of the country at heart as they have been opposing his development agenda since 2014 when he ousted the then governing People’s Party (PP).
He said: “In the past five years, the DPP-led government has worked to develop this country and we will continue to do so beyond 21 May elections.
“We have fulfilled our promises. We have built roads, community technical colleges… We have implemented the Malata [and Cement] Subsidy Programme, among others.
“The 2019 DPP manifesto has a lot of developments that we want to implement such as construction of secondary schools, bridges, roads and hospitals, among others.
“In this regard, I urge you not to make a mistake during the coming elections because these elections are very important. You will choose development or politics.”
At Mchinji Boma, Mutharika pledged to modernise the district to the level of its neighbouring Chipata in Zambia, saying it has business potential being a busy border district with Zambia.
The President also said his administration, if retained in power, will continue with the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) because the universal subsidy programme espoused by the opposition parties is not ideal for Malawi as it may benefit the rich while ignoring the poor.
During the rallies, Mutharika said government will construct seven secondary schools in Mchinji to close the 37 percent gap of students that have access to secondary education.
He also said the community technical colleges initiative will continue to be implemented to close the skills development gap Malawi is currently experiencing.
Earlier, DPP secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey said Mchinji is no longer a stronghold of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), alleging that people lost confidence in the opposition for failing to initiate development.
In his remarks, Mchinji South West parliamentary candidate Raymond Sakala, asked Mutharika to construct a tarmac road to Tembwe to ease mobility challenges. He also asked government to consider solving water problems at Tembwe Health Centre.
The party’s shadow MP for Mchinji Central asked Mutharika to consider erecting solar-powered street lights at Mchinji Boma, saying the district council was struggling with electricity bills.
In the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, DPP failed to win a parliamentary seat in Mchinji, MCP won four of the six constituencies in the district with PP and an independent winning one each.
In contrast, in 2009, DPP won three seats in Mchinji while MCP had two and one was won by an independent. n