United Democratic Front (UDF)’s presidential hopeful Atupele Muluzi says Malawi can repeat its failures in economic strides as has been the case in the last 50 years if masses continue to rely on handouts.
Speaking to a crowd gathered on Sunday at Kasungu Community Ground on Sunday, Atupele said the country is better off focusing on agriculture and developing its natural resources.
The party has since pledged to revamp the agricultural sector, which he emphasised will remain the country’s economic backbone for years to come.
Among others, Atupele said his party will phase out the national targeted input subsidy programme and will be replace it with universal fertiliser scheme. He argued the former has only managed to spread anger and poverty across the social structures.
“The world is changing. Africa is changing and yet Malawi seems to remain stagnant.
“There is no way we can keep on clinging onto handouts when we have got all this land and water resources. The world is surely justified to pour scorn at us when we continue carrying our begging bowl around the globe. The problem is that we have slumbered too much as a nation for our own good. It’s time to rise up and map our destiny as a people and this starts with electing visionary people,” he said.
In a clear departure from the ‘benchmark’ set during his father’s era, Atupele openly spoke against handouts; arguing the UDF is now a transformed party.
He also warned the masses against banking their hopes on politicians who get handouts; adding the country has more challenges than meets the eye.
“Twenty years in democracy and Malawi still trades its vote with party cloth and a T-shirt? Others are into livestock distribution, and more. Can these temporary material gifts see us through various socio-economic challenges for the next five years when such politicians are basking in the echelons of power and seemingly forget those who ushered them into such positions?
“It’s time to change; to decide. The country has got many other able individuals who can steer the national development agenda forward so much that we can’t afford to have the same people dominating our politics. They have all failed and we need to rethink our future.”
Before addressing the Kasungu rally, Atupele, who was returning from his week-long tour of the North, had some stop-overs at Jenda and Nkhamenya.