President Lazarus Chakwera has faulted critics for questioning whether the income-generating work of some Malawians counts as jobs.
Speaking when he appeared in Parliament to respond to various questions from legislators, President Chakwera said it was surprising that when he said in his State of the Nation (SONA) that his administration had created 997,423 jobs, some quarters stood up and demanded that he parades the people that had found the jobs and the type of jobs created.
The President said when he stated eight months ago that the economy had lost 600,000 jobs, no one cared to ask what kind of jobs had been lost or to parade the Malawians whose jobs had been lost.
He said: “But the moment I said that over 900,000 jobs had been created, suddenly many people who have good jobs start asking me to parade the Malawians who had received these jobs and questioning whether the income-generating work of those Malawians counts as jobs.”
He said such thinking is counterproductive to building a new Malawi.
President Chakwera said it is worrying that there are some people in Malawi that are only bent to putting Malawians down when they are winning and doing nothing to show concern when Malawians are losing.
Commenting on the Affordable Input Program (AIP), President Chakwera said the flagship program, which is in its second year of implementation, remains beneficial for the
country, and that its benefits must be preserved in the face
of administrative, technical, and behavioral bottlenecks
that threaten it.
In its maiden year of implementation (2020/21 fiscal year), government had allocated K160 billion towards AIP but the budget was later revised to K142 billion at mid-year budget review meeting.
In the 2021/22 budget, which is set to expire on March 31, 2022, government has maintained the K143 billion budget towards the program.
“The problems that have bedeviled the second instalment of the AIP will be resolved,” he said.
The President responded to five questions from different legislators but also digressed to comment on other issues of national importance.
This is the third time that President Chakwera has appeared before Parliament to answer questions in relation to the SONA.