Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Right Honourable Dr. Kondwani Nankhumwa, MP, undertook a whistle stop tour of some parts of Blantyre on Friday, July 21, 2023 in an effort to resuscitate the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at the grassroots level ahead of the crucial 2025 general elections.

Right Honourable Dr. Nankhumwa was accompanied by DPP National Director of Women, Cecelia Chazama, regional, district and constituency officials, traditional leaders, and Members of Parliament (MPs), Francis Phiso (Blantyre North), Yusuf Nthenda (Mulanje West), Nicholas Harry Dausi Mwanza Central), Sameer Suleiman (Blantyre City Southeast), Gertrude Nankhumwa (Blantyre Kabula, and Masauko White (Thyolo East).

During his stopovers at Mdeka, Lirangwe, Lunzu, 10 Miles (Chileka), Chirimba, and finally, Chilomoni, the opposition leader observed that President Chakwera and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) “boys” are busy going around the country telling Malawians that the economy is on the road to recovery but he said the truth of the matter is that the Malawi economy is in tatters.

“The biggest evidence that our economy has gone to the dogs is the continuous rising in the price of commodities. In 2020, when DPP was in power prices of commodities were fair and affordable to the common person. Now everything has gone up.

“Not everyone was rich under the DPP but at least Malawians could afford sugar, soap, cooking oil, fertilizer, and many other basic commodities. Small businesses were thriving.

“Today, we hear of shortage of fuel and forex such that it is a common song known by everybody including children. Both big and small businesses are continuously tormented by the instability of the Malawi Kwacha,” said the Right Honourable Dr. Nankhumwa, adding Malawians are dying now because they can not afford to buy fertilizer at K90,000 per bag.

He said a bag of maize is at almost K50,000 and ADMARC depots where people can access cheap maize are still closed. He gave President Chakwera a 14-day ultimatum to open ADMARC depots “or face the consequences”.

“President Chakwera is a disaster for Malawi and we cannot sustain him beyond 2025,” said the Right Honourable Nankhumwa, who also serves as DPP Vice President responsible for the Southern Region.

FOREX SHORTAGE

The opposition leader said Foreign currency (forex) is what enables Malawi to access commodities from outside. He said some critical commodities that we import are fuel, medicines and medical equipment.

“Shortage of forex, therefore, automatically means no access to the mentioned commodities from outside the country. Since this government came to power three years ago, Malawi has not been able to have enough forex reserves. As I am talking, our forex cover is less than a month, which is a very dangerous position to be in as a country.

“Economics best practices demand that a country must at least have a minimum amount of forex to cover three months of imports. But you can see that we are not even able to have the minimum cover. Surprisingly, President Chakwera and his MCP troops continue to travel around the globe whilst draining forex as though it is their last paycheck,” he said.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

The opposition leader said most of energetic young people are ready and eager to create their own jobs and to employ others while contributing positively to the economic growth of this country. However, their immediate challenge is capital, he noted.

“Economically, President Chakwera has nothing to offer; nothing is working out and the country is sinking every day because we have clueless captains driving this country. Three years later, what is happening? They are coming back to cheat you again. Do not be cheated, a hyena will always remain a hyena.

FERTILIZER CORRUPTION

It is now confirmed and written on the wall that the Tonse Alliance government under President Lazarus Chakwera is the most corrupt government in the multiparty dispensation, said Right Honourable Dr. Nankhumwa.

“Corruption has become endemic and institutionalized under President Chakwera. Look at what is happening in the Ministry of Agriculture. Last season, tax payer’s money was stolen as this government was trying to buy subsidy fertilizer from a butchery in the UK.

“This season, we hear this government is about to make the same mistake. It has signed a contract with a company allegedly from Romania whose authenticity is very questionable. As I am talking now, money amounting to K5 billion has also already been stolen under this agreement and some people have vanished,” he said.

POLITICS UNDER MCP/UNEMPLOYMENT

MCP has also once again proved that it is an old political party that refuses to drift with modern times. This is looking at the shameful way the party has institutionalized nepotism and regionalism, he said.

“Currently, all top jobs in the government have been taken by people from one region. People, especially those from the Lhomwe belt, have either been removed from their positions or are bing victimized in one way or another,” he noted.

WHAT WILL DPP DO?

Right Honourable told hundreds of people during his tour that the DPP will restore this country’s economy to where it was in 2019 and grow it more.

“DPP will ensure that forex, fuel, medicines are available. All basic necessities such as food, fertilizer, soap, sugar, salt, bread are sold at affordable prices.

DPP INTERNAL POLITICS

He said the DPP is a wonderful political party and that with the passage of time, it will bounce back stronger despite the apparent intraparty differences.

Right Honourable Nankhumwa reiterated his desire to contest at the next party national convention ” where I will win regardless of who will be my competitors’.

He encouraged all party leaders to embrace and promote the spirit of unity of purpose, saying “there is strength in unity”.

“My plea is for calm among DPP members. I know we are passing through a period of anxiety and pressure but be assured that we will pass through this and take back the government in 2025 under my leadership,” he assured.

Right Honourable Dr. Nankhumwa urged all qualifying Malawians to register as citizens in order to become eligible voters in 2025. He also demanded the scraping off of the registration fee saying most Malawians, especially in the Southern Region, are struggling in the aftermath of the devastating Tropical Cyclone Freddy.

The tour continues on Saturday with the Leader of Opposition in Parliament visiting Chazunda on the Blantyre-Chikwawa road, Zingwangwa, Manje, Limbe, Kachere, and Ndirande.

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