… To expand M-class roads, make Malawi one of least corrupt countries
UTM has launched its manifesto today with a mission to transform Malawi into a middle income country by 2030.
According to the World Bank, there are lower middle income countries (such as Algeria, Zambia and Nigeria) and upper middle income countries (such as Brazil, South Africa and Botswana).
The party says in its manifesto that its vision is to transform Malawi into a just, modern, prosperous and united sovereign state.
UTM led by its president Saulos Chilima launched the manifesto today in Dowa.
The manifesto is premised on three main pillars which are anti–corruption drive; economic transformation; and governance transformation.
The party says if it gets elected in the May elections it will develop a longterm national development plan that covers the period up to 2050 which will inform all the short-term plans during this period.
The aim is to end an obsession with cheap short term gains which are not only unsustainable but are also regressive in the long run.
“At UTM, we are fortified in our belief that our politics and national policy formulation must go beyond short termism. Every Malawian woman, girl, man and boy must be less than impressed with promises of a borehole in a village when the conversation can rightfully focus on a water supply system for a whole zone, area, ward, constituency or district,” the party says.
On corruption, UTM wants Malawi – which is ranked 120th out of 175 on the 2018 Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index – to be among the 50 least corrupt countries in the world and ten least corrupt countries in Africa.
To achieve this, the party will amend section 91(2) of the Constitution to remove the immunity of the President from criminal prosecution while in office and re–open the debate on the financial and operational independence of the ACB.
It will also give a 30–day amnesty that shall be declared for the restitution of proceeds of crimes; review the anti–corruption law to provide robust protection of, and provide incentives to, whistleblowers; explore the possibility of specialised and expedited trials of pending and new criminal cases of corruption; and encourage individual lifestyle audits.
On transport, the party plans to rehabilitate the existing ports on Lake Malawi at Chilumba,= Nkhata Bay, Chipoka, Monkey Bay and Likoma; and explore sites fornew ports on Lake Malawi and other water bodies.
The party also promises to re–develop the existing class ‘M’ roads to multi–carriage motorways, embark on an initiative to upgrade all main roads to district centres to bitumen standard.
“The national road infrastructure network is in very poor condition. Urban roads are narrow and are badly maintained. Most of the district roads are not upgraded to bitumen standards. Public institutions responsible for road maintenance and construction have been inefficient for some time now. Road design is equally of poor quality. Most roads do not have a drainage system, for example, and this reduces the life span of the country’s roads. In our cities and towns, street lighting is rare, dysfunctional or outright non–existent,” UTM says in its manifesto.
UTM also promises to construct modern international airports in Mangochi and Mzuzu starting in the 2020–2021 financial year as well as a new airport at Salima Town.
On health, UTM says it will construct modern district hospitals in Chikwawa, Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe, Dowa, Mzimba and Rumphi in order to decongest the existing central hospitals.
UTM adds that it will increase the range of diagnostic tests and super specialised services such as cardiology done by local hospitals in order to significantly reduce referrals to hospitals outside Malawi.
The party also plans to increase the number of technical health personnel, especially doctors, nurses and clinicians, at all levels of the health sector;
In the manifesto, UTM says it will embark on the total rehabilitation and upgrade of all secondary schools and public university campuses in the country, starting with the complete rehabilitation of a minimum of ten secondary schools into state of the art centres of learning in the first year of its administration.
A UTM government, according to the manifest, will also make sure that no child fails to go to school because of lack of school fees at primary level, secondary level or in public universities.
The party also promises to abolish the Quota System for student admission to public universities and replace the system with a merit–based one, ensure teachers are well remunerated and paid on time; and ensure that 100 per cent of disadvantaged secondary school learners are provided with bursaries.
The party also plans to revive the manufacturing sector by creating new industrial zones to attract firms for export production and production for the domestic market and redirecting existing large enterprises such as Press Corporation, PLC, towards manufacturing;
On governance, UTM says the First Vice President shall be in charge of at least one of the five Ministries with the highest budgetary allocation and the Vice President will become as Deputy Commander–in– Chief under section 161 of the Constitution.
According to the manifesto, UTM will ensure that the public broadcaster, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, is free from political or other illegal interference and that the civil service is reformed.
“Within the first 100 days, UTM shall give the public service a new corporate culture characterised by discipline, ethics, hard work, drive to serve, and a focus on results as had been envisaged in the Public Sector Reforms initiated in 2014,” the party says in the manifesto.
In his remarks in the manifesto, Chilima says the party will implement a ‘mindset change’ philosophy called Tsogolo Lathu’ Culture.
He says UTM detests the attitude that has crept into some sections of Malawi’s podium political class that behave as if they are doing the people of Malawi a favour.
He then urges Malawians to choose UTM in the tripartite elections of 21st May, 2019 rightful partners in this journey towards a Malawi that all people crave