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UTM manifesto prioritizes ‘youths, civil service’


By Joseph Mizimbe

DOWA-(MaraviPost)-The United Transformation Movement (UTM) Manifesto and 2019 Campaign Launch, can been described as unique for according villagers an opportunity to witness the launch.

Unique again because the party’s President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima presented copies of the manifesto to representatives of local people, traditional leaders, business community, youths, faith community, and the media unlike other parties which launch theirs in cities’ lucrative hotels.

UTM Manifesto tackles three key important areas namely: Anti-Corruption Drive, Economic Transformation and Governance Transformation. The Manifesto further outlines what the UTM Government intends to do for the people when voted into power on May 21 this year.

It emphasizes the need to remove presidential immunity from criminal prosecution while in office, 30 day amnesty declaration for the restitution of proceeds of crimes, phasing out of Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme (FISP), redevelop the existing ‘M’ roads to multi-carriage motorways, the vice president to be in charge of at least one of the ministries, public broadcaster (MBC) to be free from political interference.

The manifesto also tackles ways of addressing tribalism, regionalism, corruption, and provide answers to the much anticipated and talked youth unemployment, unfavourable business loan conditions, challenges facing the public sector, dilapidated  houses for Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Malawi Police Service (MPS), Immigration Department, Malawi Prison Service and presidential powers and immunity.

Launching the Manifesto at Dowa Community Ground on March 23 this year, UTM President who is also the country’s vice president, Dr. Chilima, said to ensure that youths who are the majority their well-being is uplifted, he would head the Youth and the Civil Service Ministries.

Dr. Chilima who was accompanied by his National Executive Committee (NEC) said, he would do this because he doesn’t believe that anyone could do a good job but only him.

On youths, Dr. Chilima said, his Government would create one million jobs, provide conducive environment for youth to venture into businesses. He added that he would ensure that all sports disciplines’ performance is super and that he would want Malawi’s football clubs to participate in English Premier League.

“I don’t want youths to be used and abused by politicians. I want them to take part in the development of sports and the country’s economy,” he claimed.

The UTM president added that he would ensure that the Civil Service under his charge should be reformed in all sectors, and salaries for workers adjusted upward.

“I want to assure Malawi Police Service and Malawi Defence Force that my Government will build them houses, DRC allowances for MDF officers that were reduced will be given back to them. The welfare of MDF, Malawi Police Service, Prison and Immigration officers will be looked into,” Dr. Chilima said.

He added: “Police officers will no longer queue along the road when the president is going somewhere.”

Dr. Chilima said, Malawians went through difficult times ranging from oppressive colonial rule whereby the likes of Inkosi ya Makhosi Gomani, John Chilembwe were killed while Dr. Kamuzu Banda, Orton Chirwa and Aleke Banda were arrested; to the fight for multiparty democracy by Dr. Bakili Muluzi, Chakufwa Chihana and Prof. Bingu wa Mutharika.

“Today people are in poverty; lack food, no markets for cash crops and domestic animals. Malawi is the poorest country in the world and UTM wants to provide solution to these problems,” he assured.

The State Vice President sounds concerned: “God gave us everything for our betterment- we have fertile soil, beautiful mountains and lakes which can attract tourists, and a peaceful nation. But what lacks is a leader who is visionary and development conscious. The painful thing is that instead we have a leader who is corrupt and doesn’t want to develop this nation.”

He said UTM Government would bring meaningful development to all people by ensuring that public funds are be used for intended purposes as corruption would not be tolerated at all levels.

He said he would love to see people have money so that they should be independent economically, prices of commodities would be reduced.

This, he said, would ensure that what people want should be available and this would be good foundation for development.

According to the Manifesto, the UTM Government would embark on major projects which include construction of health facilities, roads, bridges among others.

“UTM leaders will be busy with tangible developments not foundation stones development- that’s not development,” he said.

It would also introduce a K40 billion loan facility for people who want to start or boost their businesses.

On governance, Dr. Chilima said, his Government would remove presidential immunity and as such if the president is involved in corruption while in office the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) could institute an investigation.

For those involved in corruption, Dr. Chilima said, would be given 30 days to repay the money and this would make the ACB work easy.

Still on governance, the UTM Government would revise Chiefs Act to ensure they work independent of politicians and also their honorariums would be adjusted upward.

The UTM Manifesto has broken the Economic Transformation section to align itself with tax remittance compliance, closure of all public funds mismanagement gaps, and appointment into ministerial position people who are not corrupt.

To boost the country’s economy, the manifesto provides for the introduction of mega farms in all districts- each farm would have an agricultural extension worker among technical workers, have a factory for value addition, and find better markets for the produce.

Apart from improving the country’s economy, these mega farms would help Government deal with malnutrition and create employment.

Dr. Chilima was optimistic that after five years in Government, the country would be transformed: improved school infrastructure (all learners would be learning in classes), good houses, easy access to quality water, walkable distance to health facilities, improved electricity supply among others.

Turning political, the UTM president said, people should not be cheated that electio

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