Malawi’s main political parties have expressed mixed reactions on President Joyce Banda’s address delivered at the opening of the 2013/2014 budget meeting on Friday.

In her address titled Malawi on the road to transformation, President Joyce Banda tacked various issues ranging from the economy to social wellbeing of Malawians.

While most of the issues she tacked were not necessarily new, the president did mention some new initiatives that she said her government would implement.

Among other new initiatives, she said government will establish the first ever Tea Auction Floor in Malawi later this year, construct a new Mangochi Airport to boost tourism and establishment of the Mudzi Transformation Trust which she said would be used to reduce poverty levels at village level.

“The Mudzi Transformation Trust will be a private sector led initiative to which both local and international private sector is invited to invest in. My vision is that the Trust will support villages to access social and economic services that address most of their basic needs,” said Joyce Banda

She also announced that civil servants salaries and chief’s honoraria would be raised. On the chief’s issue, president Banda also said her government would officially register 20 thousand more village and group village heads as currently only 22 thousand of all the 62 thousand village and group village chiefs were registered.

Reacting to the speech, MCP president and opposition leader Mr. John Tembo said while the speech had some good points, it was political.

“As a speech from the head of state, it is a good speech it includes everybody. But will the things that the president said happen? Some of the things are a repetition. The issue of the promotion of chiefs too should not be political. It (the speech) was very political,” explained Mr. Tembo.

UDF president, Mr. Atupele Muluzi said the speech raised optimism for the future but wondered if president Banda’s government will really address the major problems being faced by Malawians.

“We (UDF) are happy that she was going down to the individual but we would want to see results. It should not be only about winning an election,” observed Mr. Muluzi.

On his part, leader of the Democratic progressive Party in parliament Dr. George Chaponda did not see anything in President Banda’s speech worth praising.

“They have told us, rightly so, in her speech that inflation is high and will continue to be there until 2014 which means things are not good,” said Dr. Chaponda

Lawmakers will on Monday begin commenting on the address after which they will also discuss the 2013/2014 national budget.

The lawmakers are also expected to discuss 25 various bills during this sitting.—Zodiak Online

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