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Respect MGDS priorities, political parties told

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By Taonga Sabola:

As political parties engage a high gear by unveiling manifestos in the run-up to the May 21 elections, the National Planning Commission has underscored the need for politicians to make realistic promises and stick to the priorities in Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III.

Unlike in previous elections, Malawi now has a planning commission which is responsible for the long and medium term development of the country and oversees implementation of the plans.

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National Planning Commission Director General, Thomas Munthali, said in an interview yesterday MGDS III represents the aspirations of all Malawians.

Munthali said the leadership of every political par ty was supposed to ensure that their manifesto talk to these aspirations not the other way round.

“In the various manifestos that have come out so far, some political parties have been explicit in linking their focus areas to the MGDS III priorities while others haven’t been that explicit.

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“But given that MGDS III priorities are relatively broad, one can easily link each of the parties’ focus areas to one priority or another in MGDS III, the only difference being the emphasis points,” Munthali said.

He added that the elections were also coming at an opportune moment when the country needs to re-think its long-term vision – basically developing a successor to vision 2020.

“This means the various ideas that political parties have put in their manifestos will be building-blocks for gathering evidence on what will require prioritising in order to deliver maximum impacts based on evidence of multiplier effects and return on investment,” Munthali said.

Making a presentation at the 2016 Economics Association of Malawi Annual Conference, Chancellor College economist, Winford Masanjala, sanational development plans are agreed upon by all citizens of a country regardless of political affiliation as the roadmap a country is supposed to take to achieve accelerated development.

He said political party manifestos should not supersede the national development plan but should provide how best they could help implement national development plans.

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