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Mutharika opens 46th session of Parliament

Written by  Sam Phiri

State President Professor Peter Mutharika has said Malawi has to take bold steps in managing the economy by fostering prudent measures that his government has put in place.

06
November


The President made the call when he officially opened the First meeting of the 46th session of parliament in the capital city Lilongwe this morning which will run up to 4th December 2015.
Among others Mutharika said his government is impressed with the progress government is making in managing the economy which he said is on track.


Addressing the chamber which was full to capacity with members of parliament and state vice president Dr Saulos Chilima and other senior diplomats, Mutharika said his government is trying to reduce government wage bill by among others conducting a headcount exercise which he said is aimed at sweeping out all ghost workers in the civil service.


“Government will prosecute anyone one who has been involved in the creation of the {ghost}workers.” warned Mutharika.


On food security Mutharika said the response to his appeal towards the 2.8 million people that are at risk of being hit by the shortage of food is so far encouraging.


He said government will make sure that the food distribution exercise which started in October this year to march 2016, benefits all that are in need.


“I repeat that no single person will die because of this hunger under my leadership.” added Mutharika.


He however said apart from the European Union, the United states government, the United Kingdom and other foreign nations that have so far responded to his call for help towards the food situation, more funds are required to fill the gap which currently is estimated at K149 million.


On security Professor Mutharika said despite wide fears among Malawians on the state of security, statistics are showing that Malawi is doing well in reducing the crime rate.


He said his government is empowering private security companies to collaborate well with government security agencies.


“My government is drafting the private security companies’ policy that will enhance regulation and working capacity of these private security companies.”


He however added that it is his hope that parliament will pass the policy into law once it’s brought before the honorable members.


Furthermore Mutharika said the National Identification project which is expected to be in full swing by 2017, is expected to help in reducing the crime rate in the country.


And commenting of the health situation, Mutharika admitted that to a certain extent there have been delays in payment of suppliers and supply of drugs to hospitals coupled with drug pilferage has led to the non availability of drugs in some health facilities.


He however said his government is now providing enough funding to the Central medical trust to be able to procure and supply the essential drugs in time to various hospitals across the country.


“We have tasked the Central medical trust to review the legal frame work so that culprits who are caught stealing drugs must face hard penalties equal to their malpractice. I can assure you that time of stealing Medicine in the country is over!”Warned Mutharika.


On industry the Professor said Malawians have been able to see that investors are trekking into the country as witnessed by the coming in of the Chinese in the Chileka international airport and the Kamwamba coal plant projects which will reduce electricity problems in the country.


Mutharika also said the malata and cement subsidy is on track as currently over 75 percent of the materials in the project have been delivered to various councils to an extent that almost 7000 houses have been completed.


On the long awaited Access to information bill and the communication bill, Mutharika said the bill will be passed during this seating of parliament much to the loud applause of all members of parliament.

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