Legislators respond to President’s opening speech

Written by  Gladys Nthenda

When Parliament resumed sitting on Monday legislators started responding to President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s opening statement presented on Friday last week.

Nkhotakota North East legislator Martha Lunji Nkhotakota North East legislator Martha Lunji

Moving the motion Nkhotakota North East legislator Martha Lunji hailed Professor Mutharika’s visionary speech which she noted is in line with the passing of the Access to Information Bill as through his statement he briefed the nation on some of the initiatives government has embarked on.

Lunji pointed out that the country has made positive strides on the economic front and urged Malawians to work collectively to build the nation in order to sustain the gains made.

She among others cited reduced inflation from 24% to 8% which she said would further lower interest rates and a stable exchange rate in the past 2 years which she said is no mean achievement.

The Nkhotakota North East MP commended the move by the President to temporarily ban maize exports which she noted helped fill the country’s grain reserves.

She attributed the current electricity problems to poor planning and lack of investment in the energy sector by the past regimes.

Lunji was upbeat the procurement of the electricity generators would be a short term measure to the power outages.

Also contributing to the debate Likoma Island parliamentarian George Kamwanja described Malawi’s current state of economy as robust and buoyant and prerequisite for economic growth and development.

Whilst acknowledging the electricity challenges Kamwanja explained that this is because investments in the energy sector didn’t match with the demand and population growth.

In his remarks Leader of the Opposition Dr. Lazarus Chakwera urged government to set aside funds in the 2018-2019 Budget to enable farmers supply maize directly to the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to avoid being duped by vendors.

He applauded government for ensuring that the silos are fully stocked in ensuring that Malawi is food secure.

Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya announced changes in the People’s Party leadership with Ralph Mhone as Leader of the party in the house deputized by Agnes Nyalonje.

Ralph Jooma is the Chief Whip and John Chikalimba is his Deputy.

Msowoya also announced that 9 Bills which were passed in the 2017-2018 Budget meeting have all been assented to by the President.

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