The social and economic hardships facing our country today have prompted Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) to remind Malawians about the statement we issued on October 2, 2020 in which we summarized the first 100 days in office of President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance administration.
In the statement, CDEDI regretted and, also, warned Malawians that the June 23, 2020 court-sanctioned Fresh Presidential Elections (PPE) sold us a dummy.
By all measure of patience, Malawians have become tired of extended electricity load-shedding and resurfacing of dry fuel pumps and unavailability of foreign exchange (forex) two years into President Chakwera’s regime.
Today, Malawians can now agree with what CDEDI said during Chakwera’s 100 days in office, and warned that the country was headed for a wasted five years.
The several cases of indecisiveness that characterized Chakwera’s early days in office have culminated into full-blown poor leadership style.
Thus far, as a matter of urgency, CDEDI wishes to appeal governance think tanks, notably the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) to call for an all-inclusive stakeholders meeting to rescue the country from further damage. Our fear is that leaving the current situation unchecked will lead to loss of millions of lives of vulnerable and marginalized citizens due to starvation.
It is disheartening to note that as electricity, fuel and forex woes are forcing the economy to its knees, the President and his lieutenants are busy peddling flimsy excuses in a futile attempt to cover up their cluelessness.
For a better Malawi, CDEDI hereby reiterates its call to President Chakwera to come up with tangible solutions, complete with a clear time-frame to the aforementioned challenges facing Malawians, or accept that he has failed the country and consequently step down.
Further, we hereby remind the President and his government that a hungry person is an angry person, therefore, any carelessness in handling the maize crisis in the country is a recipe for disaster.
It is disturbing to note that despite all assurances of the grain’s availability, the situation on the ground is dire as evidenced by its soaring prices months away from the lean period.
The Future Of The AIP And Fertilizer Prices
We are in September and the 2022/23 growing season is just setting in. Shortly, some parts of the country will start receiving rains, and the latest weather forecast predicts most parts of the country will, this year receive rains early.
However, there is a cloud of uncertainty on the future of the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP). Therefore, CDEDI would like to challenge government, through the Agriculture Ministry, to explain the following:
a) Whether government will proceed with AIP or not. If yes, what will be the prices for the farm inputs and what is the number of the targeted beneficiaries?
b) In the wake of forex shortage, we would like to see the government coming out clearly on the availability of fertilizer.
Imminent 3,000 Job Losses At ADMARC
To begin with, the Agriculture Development and Marketing Cooperation (ADMARC) has proven to be a tried and tested tool in making both maize and
fertilizer accessible to Malawians. Therefore, it is a no brainer to play hide-and-seek with this entity’s existence at this critical moment. CDEDI’s unsolicited advice to President Chakwera and his cronies is that they should take their hands off ADMARC.
Needless to remind the President that he promised
Malawians one million jobs, therefore, the least one would expect is to see as many as 3,000 people losing their jobs at ADMARC.
Last, but not the least, CDEDI hereby gives President Chakwera 14 days to address aforementioned concerns or else CDEDI will be prompted to collect signatures to force the Speaker of the National Assembly to call for an
emergency meeting of Parliament in a bid to save the country from complete destruction.