Long after others have begun campaigning officially, many have been asking: “When does the campaign begin?” Our answer is: “This is the day campaign really begins”.
But the manifesto we unveil to the country today is not a mere campaign manifesto but a declaration of commitment lead Malawi to prosperity. It is a sacred vow we make to our beloved country. This manifesto is our comprehensive blueprint of policies and programmes of the next government. It is a New Testament we make with the people of Malawi that Malawians must be happy and proud of our country. Malawi is the only country we have, and the only country we shall ever have, and the only country God has given us to sustain our existence on earth.
To every people, God gives three things sufficient to build a civilisation. He who created us has given us all we need to develop no less than the Americans and the Chinese. Like everybody else, like every developed nation that we admire:
God gave us the land and the natural resources on which we live. This is our natural capital. As Bingu kept saying, “Malawi is not a poor country, and yet we are poor.”
God gave us you and I, and everyone living on this land. This is our human capital. And I am saying, this Malawi is made up of hard working people each capable of transforming their lives and developing like any country.
God gave us a mind in every human that walks. This is our intellectual capital for us to think of how best to exploit our natural capital and human capital. And this country is full of intelligent minds and ideas.
It was on these God-given principles that we plan because we know, and we believe that it is possible to develop this country. It was on these principles we the DPP began to grow the economy under Bingu’s leadership and the vision of that fallen hero. He fell, and this country fell, but this country can begin to rise again because we have done it before. We can develop this country and make every life worth living. This is a country with the potential of greatness if we believe in ourselves as I believe in you.
And yet, yet, our only country is dragged by its feet and thrown into dungeons of despair. We are a sad people, heartbroken, our national pride is wounded, and our collective spirit bruised. Democracy has become a government of thieves, by thieves and for thieves. Only our state protected thieves and their collaborators who want to seek alliances with them thrive in cash gate illusions of happiness while you and I are being arrested in misery. The truth is, democracy has become a government of liars, by liars, and for liars. For two years, our history has a long deception to the people. The truth is, we are flying backwards instead of making progress. The truth is: the economy is like a bicycle with lost wheels and we are far away from where we want to be. Businesses have lost their wheels and the wheels of the economy are lost and stuck in the mud. Progress is arrested, and the progress of this country stopped the day Bingu’s heartbeat stopped on that fateful morning of his cardiac arrest. This country is dying and its heartbeat stopped because we have a government without a heart for the people.
Our tragedy is that the very soul of government is rotten and we have a government without leadership, a country speeding dangerously without direction. This situation is unacceptable, simply unacceptable to the people of Malawi. And when we seek answers and truth, we are programmed with lies, and we are intimidated. But the truth of our unacceptable situation is painful, extremely painful. The truth is, the cost of living is becoming impossible for civil our servants, vendors, our farmers, our business people and anyone who goes to the market to buy food and necessities. And the truth is; this government is bankrupt because the little revenue we earn from the people’s sacrifice of taxes is stolen and plundered for political aggrandizement and self-glorification. This is painful, very painful and frustrating. We are all frustrated.
Our people in the village are grieved and frustrated because life is extremely harsh out there. Life is painful for the vendor on the streets because what he gets cannot afford him a proper meal with his family waiting in the towns of Ndirande and Bangwe, the family waiting in Chikanda and Chinamwali, the family in Mchesi and Kawale, in Zorozoro and ….. Our self-sacrificing civil servants are frustrated because even the little they earn cannot be paid in time to feed their families because someone plundered and stole our money. Our business community are frustrated because the government is bankrupt and there is simply no business. Our development partners are frustrated with throwing their hard earned taxpayers’ resources into the torn pockets of Mrs. Joyce Banda’s government. The Civil Society, including the religious community, is frustrated because they are speaking for the people but speaking to a government which is like huge rock without ears waiting to crush us all. We all live in fear for our survival. Meanwhile, the leadership has folded hands and left everything on the autopilot mode. The DPP is back to regain full control of the destiny of the country, and we are the best answer we have waited for.
This campaign is not about promising, everyone can promise. We shall not vote for them because they promise. They shall vote for us because we can perform and deliver. Yes we can, and we will perform and deliver! Take this manifesto to the people, whatever village, hill, valley and corner of the country they may be.
Take this pledge to the people. If the people ask, “What is our vision?” Tell them all, we pursue the lost dream of a country transformed from being an importing and consuming country to a predominantly producing and exporting country, a country whose economy creates enough jobs for our people, a country that creates new wealth for our people, a country that feeds itself without the disgrace of begging. We seek a country where everyone is productive, proud and happy with whatever they do. We seek a country where everyone is proud to be Malawian. That is the lost country whose dream we began to pursue before we lost Bingu.
If they ask you, “What is our mission?” tell them, our duty, task and undertaking is to run a trusted government that instils self-confidence in the people; a inspiring government that instils a sense of socio-economic independence in Malawians to be proud of who we are; our job is to create a motivating environment for hard work and for every Malawian to happily earn what they work for.
If the people ask you, “What is in this manifesto for us?” Your answer shall always be:
1. In this manifesto, there is food being produced for every Malawian and farm subsidies for every maize and tobacco farmer. Malawians are a proud people whose dignity cannot be overthrown by reducing them to beggars of handouts. We want to produce our own food and proudly earn our living;
2. And in this manifesto, there are affordable prices for every Malawian;
3. In our manifesto, there are cement and iron-sheets subsidies for us to construct the country for we seek to transform the country more than a village.
4. In the next government, there are new jobs to be created enough for the youth and the people
5. And there are new salary structures and health care for all public servants in our next government
6. In the next DPP government, there is a functioning and motivated civil service to implement our people-centred agenda
7. A few weeks from now, there is a conducive business environment for private sector to grow our economy
8. In our pledge to the people, there are new world-class roads and high quality infrastructure
9. Above all, there is good political and economic governance in which everyone must be accountable to someone else.
10. What is not here is cash gate because there is absolute Zero-Tolerance to corruption, fraud and theft of public funds in our next government
11. We have the right ideas, and we have the discipline to implement and perform to the satisfaction of the people
12. We have a police service which is well clothed and taken care off
13. We have a health insurance for civil servants
14. We have a promotion of legumes in agriculture to supplement our tobacco as the only major forex earner
But if anyone asks: “How shall we achieve these promised aspirations?” We shall say, here is our winning formula tested and tried.
We begin with a lean, efficient, disciplined, professional cabinet of 20 men and women, including deputies. More often than not, the cabinet is the monster devouring the resources that should have bought medicine in hospitals and decently pay the nurse waiting to take care of us all the hospital, to pay the police and the soldier protecting us all, the teacher teaching our children and Capital Hill clerk servicing our ministries, and subsidize the farmer growing the food we all eat. A cabinet is for leading and running government and not for politicising development and draining resources of the poor. This discipline shall begin with myself as your next Head of State and Government, and this is my word of honour. We shall even drastically cut spending on state residencies, save and remobilise resources to productive areas of critical need.
We have the right ideas and policies. And this manifesto bears witness with us. Our next focus in the DPP are three cardinal principles:
One – discipline, implementation and performance;
Two – discipline, implementation and performance;
Three – discipline, implementation and performance.
This was the whole wisdom why we chose a star performer from the business community to be Malawi’s next Vice President. This does not happen in Africa, and to some who cannot see changing times, it was a political taboo committed. What I did is called thinking outside the box, and that is exactly what Malawi needs to break the chains of poverty. Our government will not, and will never be doing business as usual. Do we want to achieve new targets of progress? Yes we do! Then we must rethink the way we do things. I chose this spirited young man because he has an unprecedented record of performing, implementing and delivering to the people. That is why Malawi’s next Vice President, Honourable Soulos Chilima will be the head of policy implementation under my leadership. This is the wisdom that makes us unique. Everyone will promise but the DPP will pledge, perform and deliver. We are the answer Malawi is looking for; and we are the leadership we have been waiting for.
Once the DPP has set this competent, efficient, cost-saving and performing headship of government with sound progressive policies; then we will need to oil the wheels of policy implementation so that the nation can move. A country moves on the wheels of the civil service. We pledge to motivate the civil servants with salary increments which we began before Bingu died. In the next DPP government, every civil servant will a health insurance coverage because we value their lives and we are proud of our civil servants. We are planning for a well-trained, deeply motivated and health public service for this country is to perform.
And if they ask us, “What is our focus in our plan of implementation?” Our answer is that measure our progress when:
• We will implement the agenda of a people-centred economy because people are the reason why governments exist
• We will establish a clear, auditable performance monitoring system
• We will diversify primary agriculture and expand the manufacturing, production and export of non-traditional agricultural and industrial products. We are planning to double exports in the first 5 years.
• We will revive the forgotten Green Belt dream to make Malawi the bread basket of Africa
• We will sustain the fertilizer subsidy to support our subsistence farmers but abolish and replace the much abused coupon system
• In order to enable Malawians have decent housing and to boost the construction industry, which is key to the economy, we will subsidise cement and iron-sheets and bring down construction costs. We want to empower the poor to build their own houses.
• We will revive the abandoned Nsanje port, and proceed to reduce prices of imports by 60 percent to make life comfortable for Malawian consumers and businesses
• In order to be fair and just to the people, that politics must not for self-enrichment, we will pass a law against Members of Parliament from increasing their own salaries while everyone is struggling
• Not only shall we reduce the cabinet to 20 members, we will also reduce concentration of power in the Presidency. The Presidents has too much power in this country. The President needs to be accountable to other arms of government.
• As part of reduction of the President’s powers, key government officers will be appointed by a Special Public Appointments Committee. These offices will include Governor of the Reserve Bank, Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Auditor General, Director of Public Prosecution, Clerk of Parliament, Director General of MBC among others. No more shall the following be political puppets of the President. This is one way in which we will reduce powers of the President while depoliticising and professionalising the public service at the same time.
• We will truly separate powers of government, and build a new state of the art of the judiciary just as the DPP government has done with Parliament
• We will rebuild and adequately fund basic education to eliminate illiteracy in the shortest time possible.
• We will create a Special Child and Youth Rehabilitation Fund in order to enable the Youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to access vocational training and become self-reliant
• We want an education system that does not only produce employees but much more produce entrepreneurs as well. Technical education will be re-prioritised.
• We will establish community colleges to equip the Youth with entrepreneurial skills and vocational qualifications. This will create more jobs for the Youth of Malawi
• We will rebuild the existing university and continue to build the five universities we began, including Mombera University and the Marine University in Mangochi. We need to properly finish and equip MUST in Thyolo as originally planned
The list of our plans is far too long than I can outline in one speech. But these are some of the highlights.
We look forward to exciting times of changing the lives of Malawians from the top of Chitipa to the valleys of Nsanje. We look forward to transforming lives from the child and youth to the retired Malawian who has toiled from this country. We look forward to leading a development oriented government in which politicians will have no right to divide, scare, intimidate, exploit or cheat, or deceive the people who have elected them. And in leading that next government, I submit myself as a servant of the people, I submit myself as a man of the people.
This is our pledge, let the world know.
Here is our manifesto, take it to the people, engage the people.
This is our vision, let the people see the wisdom of change.
Here is the declaration of our mission, VOTE FOR US!!!