Malawi: "Tonse Alliance Will Deliver Promises, Covid - 19 No Longer Excuse" - Chilima

23 September 2021

Malawi's hands-on-the deck vice President, Saulos Chilima on Wednesday oozed confidence and shades of hope when he assured Malawians that the Chakwera led administration will deliver on its promises and that Covid-19 is no longer an excuse to get things done.

The country's citizen number two emphasised that the Tonse Alliance government is on course to transform the country into a formidable economic sound nation as promised during the 2020 court sanctioned presidential elections.

Said Chilima: "We will deliver on all our promises and Covid-19 is no longer an excuse for failing to give the people what we promised them.

"President Chakwera and all of us will deliver to Malawians what they deserve. We are working very hard. Some of us must be given the benefit of the doubt that we know what are doing."

The Vice President was speaking at the launch of 2020 Malawi Poverty Report presented by the National Statistical Office.

The report is derived from a study by the National Statistical Office (NSO) done with support from the World Bank and it is expected to highlight strides made and challenges faced in fighting poverty in the country.

The Vice President said much as the report connotes negativity, but the document was important to the country because it provides recommendations for a complementary two-track approach.

"This two-track approach entails responding effectively to our urgent challenges - COVID 19 being one of them - in the short term, while continuing to focus on long-term developmental goals as outlined in the MW2063, the country's development blueprint," said Chilima.

He explained that in the short term, most of what was promised by the Tonse Alliance Administration will be fulfilled in a phased manner and that eventually everything that was promised will be fulfilled.

"I know, high poverty and unemployment levels are a concern and COVID 19 will no longer be an excuse. We will have to move on as a country regardless.

"Therefore, give some of us the benefit of the doubt that we know what we are doing," Chilima said.

Chilima said in the worst case scenario some promises could be modified to meet the reality on the international stage, but no single promise will be abandoned.

This was perhaps a thin reference to the Affordable Input Program which has seen a bag of fertilizer being pegged at K7,500 this season from K4, 995 last growing year.

Commentators have hailed government for maintaining the program despite a mounting opposition to the initiative, which many believe benefits the political elite more than the poor through corruption.

Among others, the report shows that poverty levels have been worsening in the central region when compared to other regions of the country.

The report also indicates that poverty levels are worsening in urban areas.

During both the 2020 constitutional court summoned presidential elections, the Chakwera - Chilima campaign partnership hinged on the creation of one million jobs in one year, subsidised and cheap fertiliser, rule of law, security and economic growth, improved education and a zero tolerance against corruption among others.

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