UDF Manifesto 1999 Malawi

April 30, 2011 at 20:26 Leave a comment

To see the full version of the document, please click UDF 1999 Manifesto Malawi to open a pdf-file.

Eradicating Poverty

Our Goal

Manifesto of the United Democratic Front 1999 (from the Original document)

Contents … Page

Message from H E Dr Bakili Muluzi … 5
1 Guaranteeing Food Security … 8
2 Delivering Universal Health Care … 14
3 Advancing Quality Education … 18
4 Ensuring Economic Prosperity … 24
5 Devolving Power to the Community … 38
6 Creating Opportunities for Employment … 42
7 Investing in Infrastructure … 47
8 Empowering Women … 56
9 Harnessing the Potential of our Youth … 62
10 Increasing Social welfare … 66
11 Protecting our Environment … 70
12 Fighting Crime … 76
13 Providing Efficient Public Service … 86
14 Consolidating our Freedom and Democracy … 86
15 Promoting Diversity and Culture … 90
16 Establishing a Secure Malawi in the World … 94
Why vote UDF? … 100

Personal Message from His Excellency Dr Bakili Muluzi State President of the Republic of Malawi

My Dear Fellow Malawians,

Five years ago you gave a mandate to the United Democratic Front to govern this country and safeguard the hard-won democracy and freedoms that had been denied to you for a very long time. On behalf of the UDF Government I thank you all for the trust and support you have given us these past five years.  The challenges accompanying his mandate were enormous. Malawians had struggled for democracy, but that democracy was a means to an end rather than an end in itself. The UDF set about its noble task on the conviction that democratic governance was a tool with which to achieve the economic, social, and cultural aspiration which, because of the oppressive rule of the MCP regime, had eluded this country for 31 long years. Determined to respond to the high and legitimate expectations of the people, and in line with our 1994 campaign pledges, we decided to make poverty alleviation priority number one in all our development policies. We defined poverty alleviation as the equitable provision of the basic necessities of everyday life, such as water, food, health services, education and infrastructure. We also understood poverty alleviation to include the raising of national productivity through sustainable, broad-based economic development. We sought to transform the nation’s economic structures to ensure that they meaningfully contribute towards the raising of living standards and enhance the participation of the majority in development activities. Time and again I have stated the truism that democracy in itself does not fill the stomach. To overcome the problem of food shortages often brought about in Malawi by insufficient or excessive rains, my Government took various initiatives detailed in this manifesto, including the highly successful Starter Pack Scheme, a long-overdue programme to promote irrigation, and the encouragement of farmers to grow drought resistant crops such as cassava, potatoes, and millet to supplement maize.  My Fellow Malawians, it is not enough that wealth should be created in a country: it should also be shared fairly. It is a form of abominable greed for anyone to make himself a millionaire by obstructing other people from participating in business or farming, as was the case with the MCP regime, with this view in mind my Government has liberalised the growing of tobacco, Malawi’s most profitable cash crop. Recently 20,000 smallholder burly tobacco growers took their produce to the market and returned with pockets bulging with bank notes. This is economic democracy, a sharing in the wealth of the country. The tobacco income that was monopolised by a few in the past is now shared by many. The UDF government recognised the need for both economic growth and bask needs programmes. We defined basic needs programmes as those that aim at reversing worsening social indicators, such as schools and health centres, which also have long term benefit. In 1995, in collaboration with the World-Bank we set up he now famous Malawi Social Action Fund (MASF) as the delivery vehicle for reaching out to the masses and promoting the spirit of self-help. Through MASAF the people were empowered, and they built schools, health centres, roads, bridges and boreholes, and implemented afforestation projects to save the environment. A total of US$56 million was used to finance these projects, which were identified by the people themselves and to which communities also contributed through their own self-help efforts. It had been previously planned that MASAF One would run for five years, but so high was the demand for MASAF support, and so popular the programme, that the resources were utilised within two years of implementation. The World Bank demonstrated its confidence in the new Malawi by providing further funding for MASAF Two, at a total cost of US$68 million, which as well as continuing with the activities of MASAF One, also includes a component for the urban poor. MASAF has been a remarkable achievement, not only for the facilities it has provided, but also for the training in new skills that it has offered to the people. Ordinary people have been trained in project implementation, management, basic book-keeping, and road construction, among many other skills. MASAF has been so successful and such a true example of bottom-to-top democracy, that neighbouring countries have sent delegations to study how it works. Two new ideas born in Malawi, namely MASAF and Starter Pack, are well on their way to being emulated by other countries. This is a source of pride for Malawians. Under economic growth programmes we included those initiatives aimed at stimulating economic growth at both household and national levels, such as increased credit, mobilisation of rural savings and small-scale business. To achieve these objectives we undertook a number of credit operations through institutions such as Small Enterprise Development Organisation of Malawi (SEDOM), National Association of Business Women (NABW), Development of Malawian Traders Trust (DEMATT), Womens World Banking (WWB), Malawi Rural finance Company (MRFC), Investment and Development Bank of Malawi (INDEBANK) and the National Economic Council (NEC) through its Social Dimensions of Adjustment Project initiatives. We set up a Small and Medium Enterprise Fund (SMEF) in 1995 to give credit to the poor so as to economically empower them. We also set up the Malawi Mudzi Financial Services Project to assist farmers and small-scale businessmen and women. We launched the Youth Credit Scheme in order to assist eligible youth to establish small-scale businesses. We initiated and implemented agricultural and economic reform programmes aimed at increasing productivity and promoting wider participation in the economy. We introduced free primary education so that even the most needy child could go to school. We removed constraints to business and created an environment conducive to domestic as well as foreign investment. All our programmes have been received with great enthusiasm by all the people and our efforts have paid off. Our programmes have not saved all our problems caused by three decades of MCP mismanagement, but we have laid the foundation for a vibrant culture of self-reliance. After 31 years of dictatorial rule, the people of Malawi have these past years seen a different kind of government that cares for the people and responds to their needs and aspirations. Furthermore, the people of Malawi entrusted the UDF with the mandate of safeguarding our hard-won freedoms and democratic values. Not only have these values been guarded most jealously, they have been consolidated and been allowed to fully blossom under UDF rule. I am proud to say that during the five years of UDF rule not a single person has been detained, imprisoned, become “meat for crocodiles”, or forced into exile, for merely criticising the Government. Compare this to the MCP regime when the mere suspicion of harbouring a dissident thought, and even drinking tea on Martyrs’ Day, was enough to land one in detention.  No one has been punished or threatened for openly cherishing an ambition for high office. Compare this to the MCP regime when senior cabinet ministers were brutally murdered at Mwanza for merely questioning the policies of the dictatorial regime. Democracy and freedom have been safe and sound under UDF rule, which is only natural because the UDF, being one of the parties that fought for democracy, is better qualified to safeguard it than the MCP which fought tooth and pail against democracy.

Entry filed under: Malawi, Manifesto. Tags: , , , , .

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This blog is about countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regarding societies, political parties and policies. Most interest will be spent on the countries: Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

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