Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa says loans through the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) are being given to Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters only.
Nankhumwa was speaking in Parliament this afternoon where he delivered his response to state of the nation address.
He noted that President Lazarus Chakwera promised youths that they will get loans from a 70 billion basket to be distributed through the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF).
According to Nankhumwa, while Chakwera claims that the youth are being given loans, young people are complaining that they cannot access the loans.
The Leader of Opposition said the chaotic loan disbursement at NEEF arising mainly from competing priorities among Tonse Alliance partners coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic has dashed all hopes that the youths had that this Tonse Alliance government would bail them out of abject poverty.
“The President submitted that his government is currently rolling out these loans, but I can challenge anyone here to take a brief walk on the streets and ask how many people have accessed these loans. You would be shocked with the stories from the angry people as only those that support the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are able to get the loans,” said Nankhumwa.
He added: “The youth, who make up 70 percent of the population, are interested to know if they would indeed get a fair share of these loans as promised. They want to know what is happening to this solemn promise almost a year down the road.”
Nankhumwa also demanded the Tonse Alliance to implement promises such as free electricity and water connections; cheap cement; affordable passports; and duty-free week for businesses, among others.
Nankhumwa then expressed concern over rising prices of commodities since the Tonse Alliance came into power. According to Nankhumwa, prices of sugar, salt, matches, cooking oil and bicycle tyres have gone up.
“The government has increased the price of fuel twice within a short time. These fuel adjustments have had adverse effects on Malawians as prices of basic commodities and transport costs have sharply increased in response,” he said
The Leader of Opposition also faulted Chakwera for expecting that the growth of Malawi’s economy will rest on the shoulders of the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) success story.
He said: “I would like to submit that AIP in its current form is not our answer to our inconsistent food security situation, because we are still vulnerable to weather and other extreme effects of climate change. The President should have said more about the steps that are being taken on commercial agriculture and irrigation as outlined in their party manifesto. Or have they been abandoned?”