Opposition parties, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) have questioned the rationale behind President Joyce Banda’s intention to introduce parallel Fertilizer Input Subsidy Programme (FISP).
Banda made the revelation during the cattle distribution exercise that took place in Zomba on Sunday that in the next growing season she will introduce a parallel FISP with her own sourced funds to benefit those that will not get from government funded programme.
MCP outspoken top official, Joseph Njobvuyalema told Capital Radio said it is confusing for President Banda to introduce a parallel FISP when the current initiative has been unsuccessful.
“Considering that the current FISP has failed, I don’t see how the new initiative will work out,” said Njobvuyalema.
“There have been concerns on how such programmes are run. Then why duplicating the already existing programme instead of initiating something different; seriously this is just political and will not change a thing,” Njobvuyalema added.
And UDF Publicity Secretary, Ken Ndanga questioned where funds for a parallel FISP will come from, adding the new initiative is just a ‘cheap propaganda’ that will offer nothing new to Malawians.
“Why introducing parallel initiative when they have failed to manage the current FISP. Its same president, same government and same people, so coming up with a parallel project I don’t think will improve things,” said Ndanga.
“It will be another waste of resources. Where will the money come from, how will they identify the beneficiaries and in general, how will it be run?” Ndanga questioned.
Njobvuyalema and Ndanga concurred on the fact the intended FISP will be a waste of money and resource considering how the DPP initiated FISP has fared over the years.
On Sunday, President Banda said was aware that government funded subsidy programme is not reaching every one hence the introduction of the parallel programme that will solely be financed by herself and her friends.
“Even the cows that I am distributing today, they are not the ones the ministry of agriculture are distributing, these are my personal ones,” said President Banda.
The 2012/2013 subsidy programme was programme was marred by irregularities which include distribution of fake coupons, trimming of number of beneficiates in some districts, distribution of sand-mixed fertilizer while some traders were nabbed for selling the subsidised fertiliser on the black market.