The promise of one million jobs that Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima made is currently in tatters.
Economists and social commentators have mauled Chilima for what they say is unrealistic and unworkable promise for a country of Malawi’s economic outlook. The economists have accused Chilima of brandishing before desperate unemployed electorates with unrealistic promises just to win votes.
“Chilima is actually more of a ‘quack’, than a realistic solution to the problems that our country is facing. This is why he failed to provide details of how he plans to transform Malawi’s economy to sprout a million jobs”, Happy Chirwa, told one of the local media.
Chirwa said for Chilima’s dream to become a reality, the president will have to set up over 250 companies like Illovo to be fully operational in the country.
“Illovo, one of the largest and most successful companies in Malawi only employs 4 thousand people. But Illovo is not a new company. It has been in Malawi for more than five decades. Within its first year of operation, the sugar manufacturing company did not employ all the 4 thousand people” said Chirwa.
He added: “Economists will tell you that it is impossible to establish 250 companies of the size of Illovo in one year. That is where the 1 million jobs lie… lies”.
Chirwa likened the Chilima promise to President Bakili Muluzi’s offer to buy a pair of shoes for each and every person in Malawi while campaigning for 1994 presidential race.
“Like Muluzi who hit back at people who demanded shoes and asked Muluzi to walk his talk, Chilima will coil and walk back on his promise should he win in 2019. However, when that happens, it will be too late for desperate Malawians who are buying this lie”.
The vice president, who conceded in an interview with BBC last month that he was guilty as charged on accusations of draining taxpayers’ money while absconding work, has also been slammed for pledging to create a MK40 billion revolving fund that will give K200 thousand (US$270) to two hundred thousand emerging entrepreneurs as business capital.
“What sort of business can someone start with $270? His argument is that each of these 200 thousand people will employ 5 people. with this same US$270. This is actually just tragicomedy. There is no way a business with that miniature capital can flourish in our economy as well as employ 5 people with a good monthly perk to survive.
“It’s disgusting that we have allowed such unethical promises to be made by desperate politicians” noted Blessings Tembo, a social commentator from Nsanje.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which Chilima dumped in June, has also accused the vice president of making promises that the Mutharika regime is already implementing.
DPP called out Chilima when he offered to legalise medical marijuana at a UTM rally in Nkhotakota, a district widely known to be the great haven for cannabis.
While one of Africa’s top leading business juggernauts, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, said, in a rare and unexpected social media chat he had with local Malawians on Facebook last month that Malawi will not transform with a change of leadership.