APM hits at opposition on Malata subsidy

President Peter Mutharika yesterday hit at the opposition political parties, especially the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for criticising his Malata subsidy programme and other government projects.

He blasted the opposition parties at Malingunde in Lilongwe during the official launch of the 2018/2019 national forests season, where he marked the beginning of the season by planting two trees.

Mutharika: My government will continue implementing the initiative beyond 2019

Opposition political parties, especially MCP and the UTM recently branded the Malata Subsidy Programme as non-beneficial to Malawians.

But Mutharika said his government will continue implementing the initiative beyond 2019 to allow people have cheap construction materials although the programme is facing criticisms.

When called, MCP publicity secretary Maurice Munthali said he was not ready to comment on the remarks the President made because he was attending to some urgent party matters.

On his part, UTM publicity secretary Chidanti-Malunga, maintained his party’s stand that the Malata Subsidy Programme is selective in nature as such it should be scrapped off from the list of government policies aimed at addressing needs of poor people.

“All we are saying is that this policy is good, but the problem is that it is being politicised and it is being selective. Even suppliers for products are political. No one can dispute that fact,” he said.

In his 15-minute speech, the President accused opposition parties of having no clue about the development his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government is advancing in the country.

The President was accompanied to the ceremony by, among others, Minister of Health (MoH) Atupele Muluzi and Minister of Natural Resources Energy and Environment Agrrey Massi.

On the launch of the tree planting exercise, Mutharika said government is going to plant 60 million trees between now and April next year t bring back the depleted forests.

He said the establishment of Malawi Youth Forest Restoration programme, which will see youths get  employed to restore a 10 000 hectares of forest will help enhance forest management system in the quest of conserving natural resources countrywide.

This year’s tree planting exercise is unique since it will involve youths who will be receiving remuneration from the 2018/2019 national budget, a development some commentators, including the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament said is cosmetic and a campaign budget.

Natural Resources Mining and Energy Minister Massi appealed to communities to join the President in reafforest Dzalanyama, which is the source of Lilongwe and Diamphwe rivers. n

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