By Tabitha Mwabungulu
Lilongwe, 10 March: Malawi President and Peoples’ Party (PP) candidate in the May 20 elections, Joyce Banda, has offered to meet vendors in the country to offer them loans as a way of boosting their businesses.
Banda disclosed this at a political rally she held at senior chief Mazengera’s Headquarters in Lilongwe on Sunday where she distributed 1,000 bags of maize to needy families, and one cow each to 15 beneficiaries.
The Malawi president said as a leader with the welfare of her people at heart, her core duty was to ensure that every Malawian citizen was leading a decent life.
“I have managed to source motorcycles for my boys who ply bicycle taxi services (Kabaza) throughout the country and this week we are graduating some who have been thoroughly trained and they are going to be issued with licenses,” explained Banda.
She added: “I have been wondering if our vendors have an association I can work with and offer them loans to boost their businesses and to this effect, I have already initiated the process because I have talked to a Mr. Binali to organise that.”
The Malawi President, who has more than once said she grew up selling flitters (mandazi), described herself as “vendor number one” and that she would never allow “fellow” vendors to suffer when she could help them.
President Banda is currently running a number of programmes targeting various sectors of people in the country.
Among the programs are A Cow a Family, targeting needy people in the rural areas; the Mudzi Transformation, which entails building of decent houses for the rural people living in shoddy houses; and the newly launched Motorcycle Loans aimed at graduating hundreds of bicycle taxi men to a faster and less laboring taxing business.
Banda has also been distributing maize to hunger-stricken families across the country, a development her critics has always described as rather “a political ploy to win votes and not a kind gesture as she wants people to believe”.