Parliamentary aspirants in Mzimba Solola have pledged to support local businesses by ensuring that materials for Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and other projects are sourced within the district.
Eight candidates made the commitment on Tuesday when National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust and ActionAid Malawi organised a debate for them.
United Democratic Front (UDF) aspirant Edward Gondwe observed that local businesses at Mzimba Boma are sidelined in the procurement processes.
“We need to be honest here. Our local businesses are not being supported here. We are buying items outside Mzimba when we have shops that sell similar items. It is not on,” he said.
Independent candidate Precious Chisi stressed that local businesses pay taxes to M’mbelwa District Council; hence should be and have to be a priority when it comes to procurement.
ActionAid Mzimba district coordinator Wongani Mugaba, whose organisation is implementing a tax justice project in the district, hailed the aspirants for the commitments.
He said members of Parliament (MPs) and the council should protect small-scale businesses so that they are able to grow and graduate into medium-scale and big businesses.
“Most of these small-scale enterprises do not benefit much from their businesses.They contribute to the economy and, therefore, need to be supported,” he said.
Nice Trust Mzimba district civic education officer Cosmas Longwe said the debate provided the electorate a chance to appreciate what the aspirants have to offer.