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Lazarus Chakwera hits at critics

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Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President, Lazarus Chakwera, has said he knows that one of the most common lies told in this country is that he criticises the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government without offering alternatives.

Chakwera said this Monday in a response to the State of the Nation Address that President Peter Mutharika delivered on Friday.

The Leader of Opposition said those who repeat the lie that he offers no alternatives should be ashamed of themselves, because such a lie is easy to disprove.

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“All you have to do is take all the things I have said in public, including all the speeches I have delivered before this House over the last four years, and highlight every statement in which I suggested a solution to a problem the DPP government has failed to solve.

“What you will find is that in my limited capacity as Leader of Opposition and without access to any of the resources, powers, treaties, information, and instruments the Constitution gives only to the State President, I have given Mutharika enough alternative policies and suggested changes to turn this country around,” Chakwera said.

He said Malawi is in what he called mess not because of a lack of good ideas or alternatives, but because of the DPP’s lack of political will to use any of the alternative ideas.

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The MCP leader then outlined some of the alternative views which he feels will create a new Malawi enjoyed by everyone.

Among others, he said the MCP would invest in infrastructure critical to economic activity by guaranteeing electricity for industry throughout the day and creating a Solar Energy National Subsidy Effort (Sense) to make electricity accessible to homes even off the grid.

He also talked about giving private sector businesses tax breaks for giving young people under the age of 30 part time jobs, so that more young people have a chance to earn income.

Chakwera said it is sad to note that the only thing the President had to offer young people was the construction of more stadiums.

“The irony is that when the President was a young man, he was given opportunities to study, to work, to build a career, and to build an income, and yet as an older man, he is offering young people nothing more than stadiums that remain empty most of the year and cost millions to maintain and manage,” Chakwera said.

He also said the priority areas for policy reforms are macroeconomic policies, including fiscal policies, interest rate policies, and exchange rate policies, policies to ease the business environment, especially to new entrants, who are often young people.

The Leader opposition said a new Malawi enjoyed by everyone will be a country that embodies good governance for all and will subject all governance institutions to be measured by a credit score that will be a public service performance evaluation system.

“I am talking about functional government systems that work for all our people, not dysfunctional government systems that our people are forced to work around. I am talking about designing and implementing key policy reforms in various areas and sectors, enforcing policies, rules, laws, regulations, and procedures that are currently gathering dust on government shelves,” he said.

Chakwera also talked about making the cities attractive for investment by making dirt roads in cities a thing of the past and implementing irrigation schemes and employing irrigation technologies to make farms productive in and out of season.

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