Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (Cdedi) has rebuked the Tonse Alliance administration for the deteriorating socio-economic environment which has adversely affected many people.
In a statement yesterday, Cdedi executive director Sylvester Namiwa said they have given government a 14- day ultimatum to address the situation, failing which the group will mobilise Malawians to call for an emergency meeting of Parliament.
Namiwa: We are worried with job losses
“Cdedi will be prompted to collect signatures to force the Speaker of the National Assembly to call for an emergency meeting of Parliament to save the country from complete destruction,” he said.
Among other things, Cdedi outlined impending job losses at Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), uncertainty over this year’s Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) and soaring maize prices.
On Monday this week, Admarc board chairperson Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi told the Parliamentary Committee of Trade, Industry and Tourism that the State produce trader will fire 3 122 employees as part of a restructuring process. He appeared before the committee five days after Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe announced Admarc’s closure at a media briefing in Lilongwe.
But Cdedi’s statement said the impending job losses at the financially struggling Admarc is not in tandem with Tonse Alliance’s one million job creation philosophy preached during the campaign period prior to the June 23 2020 Fresh Presidential Election.
The statement also said government should come out clear on this year’s AIP, with regard to the number of beneficiaries and price of inputs, especially in the wake of foreign exchange shortages.
Cdedi also challenged the nine-party Tonse Alliance to ensure availability and stability of maize prices as the country is going towards the lean season.
But speaking at Umhlangano wa Maseko on Saturday, President Lazarus Chakwera allayed AIP fears, saying his government will ensure beneficiaries access inputs in good time.
In his address during the 2022 Malawi Investment Summit in Lilongwe on Wednesday, the President said his bid to improve people’s livelihoods through job creation and food security was affected by Tropical Storm Ana and Covid-19.
He said: “This is why we are actively engaged in intense negotiations with local, regional and international financial institutions to create facilities that will help us surmount this obstacle.”