Christmas and New Year message from President Joyce Banda

My Fellow Malawians, Christmas and the dawn of a new year are upon us. Across the country, we will be coming closer together as a nation, as a community and as families to celebrate this season of peace, love and hope. I wish all of you a merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous new year.

Let me take this opportunity to thank God for the year that is coming to an end in the next few days. We are thankful to the Almighty God for the peace and tranquillity hat Malawi has enjoyed; for His mercy to see the nation through some of the difficult socio-economic situations we experienced, and for the rains which, according to the reports I have received, are falling in almost all parts of the country.

I hope that we will take advantage of these rains to work hard in our fields. I would therefore encourage all those that live in flood-prone areas to take extra precautions, including moving to safe areas.Joyce Banda on Al Jazeera: “We have not failed.”

Let us join hands to pray to God and thank Him for many good things He has blessed us with and those things He will bless us with in the New Year, 2014.

As we know, Christmas Day is a time to show love and care forour loved ones and our neighbours. During this festive season, I call upon all of us who can, and are able to share whatever we have with our neighbours who may stand in need. Let us show our compassion to orphans, widows, the sick and those who are unemployed. We can touch them with a hand of the Lord; the hand of love and put a smile on their faces. I am thankful to God that in the passing year, we have witnessed a unity of purpose in our country.

We have all worked together on matters of national interest: opposition political parties, faith community, civil society organisations, private sector and indeed our development partners. Our united efforts have helped to lay strong foundations for our country to heal and move towards sustainable growth. Our united efforts have put the economy on a growth path to end poverty and unemployment. To you all, I say thank you.

My Fellow Malawians, as we bid farewell to the year 2013 and welcome 2014, I would like, on behalf of my government, to wish you all a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

At this time of the year, many of us adopt New Year resolutions in anticipation of the challenges of the New Year. Equally, the birth of a new year also offers all of us together the opportunity to recommit ourselves to work for a better future for all our people. As you know, the year 2014 is very important to Malawi for three things. Firstly, on 20th May 2014, Malawi will be holding the first ever tri-partite elections. I am happy to note that the registration process has progressed very well. My Government and I are committed to ensure that we have peaceful, free and fair elections.

Secondly, on June 14, Malawi will be celebrating 20 years of democracy. My Government has ensured that most fundamentals of democracy are restored and our people have been able to enjoy their freedoms and exercise their rights. I am committed to ensure that Constitutional governance, rule of law and separation of powers between and among the three branches of Government continue to be respected.

And finally, on July 6, Malawi will be commemorating 50 years of independence. It has been necessary that as we close 50 years of self-rule, this country is cleansed, healed and rejuvenated to enter the new Jubilee. It is, therefore, necessary that the main enemies of our country’s development agenda: structural underdevelopment, theft and corruption, and bureaucratic inertia are exposed and dealt with.

I am committed to continue with a transformative agenda to deliver real change to majority of Malawians. Let us begin the New Year committed to the objective of national unity, with renewed confidence in our collective strength to ensure that our democracy will continue to serve all our citizens, determined to scale up our progress towards the realisation of the goal of a better life for all Malawians.

I would like to thank all of you, our people: in government, in civil society, in business, in the faith community and all patriotic Malawians for your work in this year that has helped our country to successfully meet some of its aspirations in our quest to make Malawi a success we all want it to be.

The year that ends, taken together with the preceding period since we gained our independence, has laid a firm foundation for us to realise the goal to eradicate poverty through economic growth and wealth creation. In closing, I recognise that in Malawi, like in many other countries, the festive season is about sharing, giving, prayers, love, and celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Let us show love and share with those who are in need. As we celebrate, let us be conscious of the security of people and property. Let us keep our homes safe and drive carefully on the roads. Do not drink and drive! Arrive Alive! I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! May God bless you all.

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