People’s Party (PP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) have vowed to incorporate the Community Savings and Investment Programme (Comsip) concept into their manifesto.
The three parties made the commitment after listening to a presentation on the impact of Comsip in the country presented by Kalondolondo Programme in Lilongwe.
Speaking on the sidelines of the presentation, MCP publicist Jessie Kabwila said the mistake political parties make when formulating programmes is that they do not research on what the people really want.
“This is a great concept in that it impacts the lives of the people directly. Currently, the prevailing incentives for those making decisions about the allocation of resources are not always favourable to a citizen empowerment pathway. Through village savings banks, people are able to do business of their choice and upgrade their economic status,” said Kabwila.
She said she will channel the concept of Comsip to MCP party leadership so that some elements are included in their manifesto which is set to be released next week.
PP spokesperson Ken Msonda was equally impressed with the impact of Comsip.
“Comsip is really changing lives directly and it should be implemented on a larger scale. The concept is a bit similar to the A Cow-a-Family and also the Mudzi Transformation Trust programmes being implemented by the PP government. But as PP, we’ll work on how to incorporate this in our manifesto,” said Msonda.
UDF said the programme has more impact than the Farm Input Subsidy programme (Fisp).
“The Comsip is about empowering the community to be self-reliant. On the other hand, the Fisp has no lasting impact. They get the fertiliser and seeds and that is the end of it.
“For Comsip, through the culture of saving, the community is able to progress economically and empower others through the revolving loans,” said the party’s spokesperson Robert Jamieson.
Programme manager for Kalondolondo Programme Jephther Mwanza said if the political parties are serious about rural empowerment, it is important to include village savings in their manifestoes.
“If Comsip had similar government attention like the Fisp, Malawi could get out of poverty within five years. Those currently under Comsip programme are safe economically. We appeal to government to appoint a champion for rural savings in the same way we have a champion for “safe motherhood,” said Mwanza.