JB attacks poverty: ‘I know Malawians are suffering’

President Joyce Banda has challenged Malawians to abandon the routine way of looking at things, begin to ask themselves tough questions and find complex answers to reasons why Malawi remains poor after 49 years of independence and self-rule.

Banda said although macro-economic stability and appreciable economic growth has been achieved over the time she has been in power, there is need for “soul searching” on creating sustainable growth.

“Time has come for us to go into a reflection mode. We need soul-searching. We can’t continue to think the way we have always done,” said President Banda when she addressed a development rally on Sunday at Masamba Ground in the Area of Traditional Authority Timbiri in Nkhatabay.

“Why are we still poor? Let’s ask ourselves tough questions. These questions don’t need easy answers,” she advised.

“Is it denial? Is it because we spent years misleading ourselves that we are rich; that we have never accepted our situation of being poor?

“Is it greed? Is it because we wanted everything for ourselves? Is it because we wanted to clutch everything to our chest? Is it because we don’t want to share with others?

“Is it bad leadership? Is it because at some point we had leadership that advised people to stop to work; that that leadership would do everything for them by way of handouts of K50 notes?

“It is resignation? Is it because we felt that the problems are so enormous that we thought we could not do anything about them. Therefore, we just resigned to our fate,” she inquired.

“Just what is the problem? What is wrong with us? Why are we receding into more poverty, while other countries are making progress? We surely need to find answers to these questions. We don’t need short-cuts,” she said.

President Banda said her visit of the Northern Region has confirmed substantially the challenges that all Malawians are facing “and we need to act and act fast.”

“People are suffering,” she stated.

“This is what has worried me for the last 30 years and continues to worry me.

“I know the kind of suffering that women are going through in this country. Their suffering does not need any introduction to me,” said President Banda.

Thankfully, she said, the country was in safe hands as “I am the best advocate of the poor because I know what poverty is.”

“I have fought against this, and will continue to fight,” she said, explaining the message of the poor has never escaped her lips wherever she has gone.

It is this spirit, she said, that inspired her to fight so hard during the time she has been in office to mend some of the hitches that allow poverty to hold Malawians hostage.

“While someone was busy digging a hole of K61 billion into our coffers,” President Banda said, “I have brought into the country over US$1billion.”

“For this, I am sure I will get my contract next year,” she stated.

The First Couple with chats with an old couple in Chikwina when the President toured Nkhata Bay on Sunday

The First Couple with chats with an old couple in Chikwina when the President toured Nkhata Bay on Sunday

The President interacts with local farmers in Nkhata Bay as she samples some of the farm produce

The President interacts with local farmers in Nkhata Bay as she samples some of the farm produce

A representative of the beneficiaries of A Cow a Family Project makes thanking remarks

A representative of the beneficiaries of A Cow a Family Project makes thanking remarks

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