Economist faults parties for outlandish manifestos

Mutharika hoists his party's manifesto after the launch

An economic expert Stanley Onjezani Kenani has faulted political parties for presenting populist ideas on economics in their manifestos, saying they will not be able to live up to the expectations.

The Switzerland-based economist says the political parties are giving people false hopes as they have promised what they cannot deliver.

He said the parties that are running neck-and-neck in the race are the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the United Transformation Movement (UTM).

“I have read and analysed the manifestos of all the three. The problem is that none of the three parties has a unique philosophy that distinguishes it from the others.

“Five years later, we will all be talking about how much they have failed to do instead of marveling at how much they shall have achieved.”

Kenani said the manifestos have both necessary and extravagant promises but there is need to have rationale and attainable goals.

Saulos Chilima launches UTM's manifesto
Saulos Chilima launching the UTM manifesto

“All the three parties have fallen into the same populist trap that has resulted in parties making promises they cannot keep.”

 All of them have made promises that will require a minimum of $15 to $20 billion to implement, ranging from the necessary to the extravagant. We are a country that has K3 trillion debt. While dreaming is important, making dreams sound like specific, measurable, attainable and time-bounded promises is being dishonest to the people of Malawi.”

Kenani said what Malawi desperately needs is a leader who is honest and accountable and one who will make sure that every cent that belongs to Malawians is spent on benefiting Malawians.

“Sure, they need high speed trains (promised by UTM), metros (promised by DPP), or a dam that can produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity (promised by MCP).”

“All these are necessary, and we must have them at some point as a nation, but for now we need to focus on what we can afford.”

 The economist said he fears that which ever party wins has prepared itself to fail.