By Iommie Chiwalo
BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), has challenged President Lazarus Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance government to refrain from lip service by being transparent and accountable, if at all the people’s trust in the year 2022 is to be sustained.

In its new year message CDEDI has also warned the leadership against running a wasteful government by pressing the austerity button through reduction of cabinet ministers and presidential advisors as well as suspending unnecessary domestic and foreign trips.

CDEDI on austerity measures, among many others, suggests reduction of cabinet from 32 to 20 members, chop off the long list of his advisors from 22 to 5, limit his ministers and top government officials, external travel to three trips per year, stop his unnecessary local and international travels.

“Chakwera should also learn to delegate the Vice President, reduce his salary from MK10 million to MK5 Million so that he should walk the talk on sharing the pain with Malawians in these difficult times,” reads the statement signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa.

As a matter of reflection, CDEDI has since reminded those in positions of authority that the power of the people is greater than the people in power saying hence the need for authorities to transact government business in the best interest of Malawians who doubles as taxpayers and voters.

CDEDI has therefore assured all well-meaning Malawians that it will not relent in its pursuit for a vibrant democracy, where the citizenry from the village level should be able to hold decision makers responsible, accountable, and liable for all their actions and failure to act.

“This we believe is the only sure way to fight theft and corruption, impunity and executive arrogance that has been blamed on our retarded social and economic strides. Malawians should also be vigilant in their defense of our hard earned democracy that brought with it rights and freedoms we are enjoying today,” he says.

Namiwa has also reminded Chakwera that CDEDI will not shy away nor get tired reminding him to deliver in all his attractive campaign promises made prior to the court sanctioned Fresh Presidential Elections on June 23, 2020.

“In fact, CDEDI is in possession of a clip where the President promised to resign if he failed within two years of his reign, to fix the country. Now it’s a few months to go before the 2 years expire!,” reads a reminder.

On a sad note Malawians have literary crossed over into 2022 under the yoke of economic bondage due to the skyrocketing cost of living, courtesy of the punitive taxes, levies, charges, interest rates and tariffs imposed on essential services and commodities such as fuel, cooking oil, water, electricity, airtime, internet and loans from commercial banks which CDEDI feels is worthy to remind president Chakwera to get back to his drawing board of campaign promises.

On the current prevailing pandemic, CDEDI has warned Tonse Alliance government against copy and paste policies saying all decisions made in relation to COVID-19 must be based on genuine science.

“No forced vaccination programme. Vaccinating young people is the waste of time, energy and beats common sense since it hasn’t been proven yet that kids are vulnerable to COVID-19.

Government should also desist from implementing unnecessary lockdowns, which are hurting the economy. To put it blunt, government’s senseless actions regarding COVID-19 will end up killing more people than the pandemic itself. Let’s learn to live with COVID and not neglect other serious diseases deserving our utmost attention as a country,”

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