President Joyce Banda on Sunday unveiled the People’s Party (PP) manifesto, describing it as the beginning of a transformational agenda the party wants to implement.
Speaking in Lilongwe after she also officially confirmed parliamentary candidates, who included her son Roy Kachale as candidate for Zomba Malosa and Vice-President Khumbo Kachali for Mzimba South West constituencies, the President said PP’s election manifesto highlights policies and programmes which include a transformation agenda that places integrated rural development as a centrepiece of development agenda.
Said Banda: “Through this transformation, I see the establishment of the Malawi Agricultural Transformation Agency [Matra] to catalyse structural reforms and sustainable change in the agriculture sector. I see the establishment of an Agricultural Bank. I see our farming families being mobilised into farm clubs and cooperatives.
“I see our agriculture practices move from subsistence to commercial and mechanised farming. This is a transformational agenda that prioritises animal and fish farming through innovative programmes like Malawi Fish for All Initiative while reviewing and reorganising A Cow A Family Initiative.”
Banda, who is yet to name her running mate although some insiders are hinting that she will likely maintain Kachali, added that PP will decentralise tobacco marketing and licensing systems to ensure broad-based participation by our rural tobacco farmers.
The party’s manifesto states that PP will expand access to social services that meet minimum standards of quality of life regardless of location; that reduces inequality: spatial or gender; and that accelerates progress towards an inclusive community and national development.
“Yes, through this manifesto, the People’s Party has embraced a holistic approach to improving quality of and access to education. The People’s Party government is committed to improving education facilities and infrastructure, teachers’ development, provision of adequate teaching and learning materials, improving conditions of services for teachers, among others,” she said.
The President has pledged to transform University of Malawi (Unima) constituent colleges into fully fledged universities as one of the strategies to expand access and improve efficiency of operations; construct six teacher training colleges and convert Domasi College of Education into a fully fledged Domasi University of Education to address the supply of teachers; and strengthen the school inspectorate at primary and secondary levels to ensure that education standards and quality match the overall transformation agenda.
PP is also pledging transformative strategies in reforming our health sector, infrastructure development, and our economy in general.
Further, the PP manifesto is offering hope to the youth, women, people with disabilities and the elderly.
Minister of Health Catherine Gotani Hara made a presentation of the manifesto and Malawi Electoral Commission code of conduct which was presented to all aspiring members of Parliament (MPs).
PP secretary general Paul Maulidi acknowledged the primary elections caused divisions in the party. He asked those that excelled to embrace the losers into their campaign teams.