By Cyrus Bengo
Calls for government to ensure early preparations for this year’s Affordable Inputs Programme-AIP are far from over as Inkosi Ya Makosi M’mbelwa V believes proper planning will avert the usual disturbances that mostly haunt the programme.
The repeated appeal comes as Malawians expect a reformed, redesigned and more targeted programme this year as pledged by President Lazarus Chakwera to seal the prevailing loopholes.
For the past two years, chaotic implementation, characterized by late distribution of farm inputs, crowded the highly publicized but politicized programme with agriculture experts stressing it needs urgent sanitization.
Inkosi Ya Makosi M’mbelwa V tipped authorities to quickly start preparations to avoid the myriad observed challenges that have previously frustrated the successful implementation of the programme.
He was speaking on Saturday in Mzimba district during the celebrations of the 2023 Umtheto Cultural Festival that drew together various politicians including Local Government Minister, Richard Chimwendo Banda, Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara and Alliance for Democracy-AFORD President, Enoch Chihana and Transport and Public Works Minister, Richard Hara, among others.
Chimwendo Banda, who represented President Lazarus Chakwera, hailed the event organizers for focusing on integrating culture and the environment in a bid to address the harsh climate change impacts; saying it resonated well with government’s spirited drive in environmental preservation.
He added his ministry would work with Mzimba Heritage Association to construct a museum to help preserve culture for the Ngoni of Mzimba.
On the other hand, Inkosi M’mbelwa also called on the government to complete construction of all stalled road projects in the district; describing good road network as a genuine recipe for national development.
Thousands of people patronized the Ngoni cultural ceremony on the foot of Hora Mountain in Mzimba which started with paying of homage to late Inkosi Ya Makosi Mmbelwa the first at his resting place at Mzalangwe.
This year’s event was being held the under theme: “Integrating Culture and the Environment to Mitigate Climate Change.”