The former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) launched its manifesto yesterday seeking to go back into government with promises of reviving the economy using a people-centred system and to institute a universal farm input subsidy programme.
The launch, held at the conference centre named after the party’s fallen leader BinguwaMutharika, had the theme ‘Towards a people-centred government’ and it was spiced up with traditional dances from the three regions of the country.
Former ministers in the DPP government Goodall Gondwe, Margaret Roka Mauwa, Henry Mussa, Patricia Kaliati, HetherwickNtaba were tasked with outlining sectoral areas of the economic, trade and industry, agriculture and health during the launch at the Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
On the economy, Gondwe said DPP would combine an effective agricultural and mining sector to achieve a growth rate of seven percent, reduce poverty further from the 42 percent to 27 percent.
Said Gondwe: “We aim to double exports from $1 billion to $2 billion in the next five years. When we came into power under Bingu wa Mutharika, exports were at $500 million and we doubled this. We can do the same again.”
Gondwe attacked the current government’s pogrammes of handing out maize and houses, saying the DPP government would empower the people economically by subsidising iron sheets and cement to allow Malawians to build their own houses and feed themselves.
On agriculture and food security, DPP would turn the country into the food basket it was and regain its pride as a nation which could feed itself and neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Kenya.
Mauwa said DPP would continue to emphasise agriculture as the backbone of the economy alongside mining which had brought the country economic growth.
However, unlike the MCP manifesto launch, copies of the DPP manifesto were not readily available to the media despite enquiries.