Former President and Peoples Party (PP) leader Dr Joyce Banda says her runningmate Jerry Jana is the best runningmate ever.
Banda made the remarks on Tuesday when she addressed thousands of supporters who attended a rally she held in the area of traditional authority (T/A) Mlilima’s area in Chikwawa.
According to Banda, she chose Jana – a former chief executive officer for the grain marketer Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) – as her runningmate after thorough consultations.
“Therefore, I did not just wake up and name him my running mate for the sake of it as I know that running a country is a very serious business,” Banda said.
At the rally, the former president said once elected as the president she intends to ensure that there is total income circulation in the country through a program dubbed ‘ndalama mthumba’
The former president said she intends to achieve this by protecting the informal business sector in the country by reviewing taxes that are impeding small scale businesses. Banda also said that she will raise the current minimum wage to K40 000.
The former President further said she has already set aside money totaling about 10 billion kwacha which shall be given as loans to small scale businesses. She added that her government shall increase electricity generation in the country to 3000 megawatts to boost the manufacturing industry.
The former president said she intends to continue her ‘Mudzi Transformation Project’ by creating what she called smart villages. She said she shall make sure that at each village there will be a health center, school and that in each village there shall be solar electricity.
Dr Banda also promised to revamp the agricultural sector in the country by giving out universal fertilizer subsidies and ensuring that there are enough markets for agricultural commodities.
Chikwawa rally was the second public appearance for the former president after a fallout of an electoral Alliance between her PP and the UTM party.
Banda earlier on told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that she would not compete in the forthcoming elections giving way to UTM party leader Dr Saulos Chilima in an electoral alliance between her PP and the UTM before she pulled days later.
Banda’s runningmate Jana has a degree is in forestry management and a Masters degree in Business Management.
He went further to do PhD in management and he once headed the Malawi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCI). He was also Malawian ambassador to the European Union (EU).
Story by Elija Phompho – MEC stringer