The Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has criticised Malawi President Joyce Banda’s proposed Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme (Fisp), describing it as “unconstitutional.”
In a press release The Nation has seen, Aford calls on government to consider implementing a universal subsidy programme to replace the current Fisp, instead of creating a parallel programme.
Banda recently announced that she will introduce a parallel Fisp, saying the current initiative is not benefitting everyone.
If implemented, the parallel Fisp will see beneficiaries getting farm inputs on loan.
But Aford says the President should identify and rectify flaws in the existing Fisp.
“The President has vowed, and in her own words ‘whether one likes it or not’ to run a parallel Fisp using financial support from her many “friends”.
“In this alternative programme, she intends to give out the farm inputs on loan to the beneficiaries. In the first instance, we observe that the tone and demeanour of her speech carries tyrannical overtones, a tinge of the dreaded Executive arrogance…
“The prudent thing to do should be to apply a logical approach of first identifying and rectifying the disastrous areas that rendered the existing programme a failure. Only when that process proves ineffective can the President consider a substitute programme,” reads the statement.
Aford identifies poor policy guidelines and disregard for principles of transparency and accountability by both the Executive and Legislature as the main reasons that have led to the distortion of the original intention of the targeted subsidy programme.
“Creation of a parallel Fisp is against the Constitution of Malawi because she is creating a shadow treasury designed to aid her shadow network in pursuit of her private schemes,” reads the statement signed by Aford spokesperson Dan Msowoya.
In view of this, Aford calls on government to replace Fisp with the universal programme.
Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu asked for a questionnaire on Monday which he did not respond to as we went to press.