Written by  McDonald Chiwayula

President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has effected new policies that seek to cushion Malawians in this second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Chakwera during the address Dr Chakwera during the address

The President has announced the new measures on Sunday at Mtunthama in Lilongwe during his address to the Nation. Dr Chakwera said the policies sync well with one of the ‘Super High Five Agenda’, prospering together. He said his Administration is fully aware of a few greedy individuals who have been enriching themselves from one administration to the other through their monopolies.



“I'm eager to stop the culture of greed that has dominated the Government's procurement system for decades. I'm referring to the practice of allowing a few private sector players to capture the procurement system by submitting multiple applications for a single Government contract under different companies belonging to the same owner, who at the same time, submit applications for contracts in multiple MDAs across Government machinery.



“The net effect of this pernicious practice is that the contracts across MDAs and the payouts for them are concentrated in the hands of a few who grow richer under every administration while everyone else gets poorer,” said Dr Chakwera.



He made mention that Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima is championing a review of Government systems that are conduits of such malpractices. During the address, the Malawi leader said he is impressed with the outputs of local artisans across the country. He then directed the Government machinery to give preference to locally produced goods other than imports.


“To ensure that there is money in your pocket my Administration gazetted an SME order with new guidelines on the procurement of goods, works and services by Government. Pursuant to that order, I am directing all MDAs, to buy supplies from local small and medium enterprises,(SMEs,) including those owned by marginalised groups,” said Dr Chakwera.



The President disclosed that the Ministry of Agriculture has informed him of the successes of the Affordable Input Programme and to ensure that farmers are not duped by unscrupulous vendors, the Government has facilitated that ADMARC is capacitated to buy maize earlier than previous years but fired a warning shot to ADMARC employees to desist from any acts of self-enrichment.


Dr Chakwera also said much as COVID-19 has taken a toll on the economy but the picture is not all that gloomy as the country anticipates the onset of the tobacco selling season and exports of other agricultural produce.A


As the country approaches the Easter holiday, the Malawi leader has urged faith leaders and the citizenry not to lower the guard on COVID-19 prevention. He cited last year’s Christmas and New Year festivities as key drivers of the pandemic’s second wave spike.


He thus, remind Malawians to adhere to the basic measures of prevention; washing hands with soap, wearing masks and maintaining social distance.



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