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Pac meets Lazarus Chakwera, cautions on Affordable Input Programme

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Anthony Kasunda

Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has asked President Lazarus Chakwera to consider reviewing the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) in terms of its sustainability or define its exit strategy in light of budgetary constraints.

Pac made the call during an interface with Chakwera Friday at Sanjika Palace.

In a statement, Pac Vice Chairperson Osman Karim said much as Pac is aware of the positive steps taken to improve the programme, there is need to critically look at the programme.

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“We are aware that one positive step has been taken. We note that the Ministry of Agriculture has almost finalised the development of paperwork pertaining to the AIP implementation. We will wait and see how the programme will be re-examined.

“The direction of AIP implementation remains crucial as you may recall [it] has been a hot subject of discussion in light of Malawi’s national budget limitations. Your leadership is called upon to steer a well-defined path on the programme,” read part of his remarks made to Chakwera.

There have been long-held concerns that the programme is not effective in fighting food shortages in the country, especially in comparison with the budget allocated to the programme every year.

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In the statement, Pac also commended Chakwera for making what they described as tough decisions in the fight against corruption.

“Following your decisiveness on the cabinet reshuffle, new appointments and those allegedly named in the ACB report pertaining to Sattar case there are opportunities to restore trust as long as utterances on ACB are not contradictory. We commend your government for providing more resources to ACB than previous ones.

“However, moral support to the ACB is of paramount importance in the fight against corruption. We are aware your excellency the challenges still remain in dealing with grand corruption since it always fights back,” he said.

Presidential Press Secretary Antony Kasunda said the meeting was cordial and that Pac was satisfied with how Chakwera’s administration is handling issues.

“It is a continuation of the dialogue. I think the delegation left very satisfied with how the President is doing on most of the things that were raised by Pac. The issues were not new. But in a nutshell the President said everything is a working progress,” Kasunda said.

Pac is set to host its 6th All Inclusive Stakeholders Conference next month.

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