I wish to inform all Malawians that I have taken the oath of office as a Member of Parliament, a distinguished honor by which I am both deeply humbled and greatly honored.
The people of Lilongwe Rural North West constituency have trusted me to represent them, and I have every intention of serving their interests faithfully as a member of this great House.
However, I wish to also say a word to every Malawian who cast their vote for me as a presidential candidate. When I announced my intentions to run for president, my offer to the people of Malawi was a new kind of leadership called servant leadership.
The beauty of servant leadership is that you do not need a title to exercise it, nor do you need power and money.
Servant leadership is about using whatever we have been given to meet the needs of others and to help the poor achieve their greatest potential.
As I said to you all during my campaign for president, so I say to you all as a lawmaker: I am here to serve. It doesn’t matter where “here” is.
Wherever there are Malawians living in poverty, there will I be to serve.
Wherever there are Malawians wanting their votes to count, there will I be to serve.
Wherever there are Malawians desperate for the development they have been denied for 20 years, there will I be to serve.
Wherever there are Malawians crying for the law to work for justice rather than the interests of politicians, there will I be to serve.
Wherever there are Malawian dreaming of a country in which young people have jobs and old politicians go into retirement, there will I be to serve.
Wherever there are Malawians praying for leaders who want to make a difference for everyone rather than make a name for their families, there will I be to serve.
I am here to serve all Malawians.
So if you voted for me, your work is not done yet. Recycled politicians have taken our country hostage for 20 years, and they will not give it back to you easily.
They are determined to use every means necessary to make sure the fate and riches of this country stay in the hands of the privileged few.
Our task in the coming months is to systematically take away the means by which they keep us powerless and voiceless. In this election, we have learned that the existence of bad laws is one of the means by which the recycled politicians stay in power and the people stay in poverty.
This means that if Malawi is going to be prosperous, we cannot just focus on building good infrastructure and electing good leaders.
We must also pass and enforce good laws.
If we are going to leave Malawi better than we found her, we must make this a country governed by the power of good laws, not a country governed by the power of two men.
You stood with me in my race for president; I now ask you to stand with me in my work as a lawmaker, because the laws we will be making, amending, and passing in this Parliament will be only those laws we believe will make a better and prosperous Malawi possible.
So come on Malawi, let’s clean up this Law House, so that when we are done, the law will never again be used to hide your votes in boxes where your voices are silenced from saying who goes to the State House.
*Lazarous Chakwera is Malawi Congress Party president