JB hits at Bingu’s K61bn wealth: Reject selfish leaders, Malawi leader tells Karonga rally

Malawi President Joyce Banda has said never again should any leader be allowed to accumulate wealth that denies people a chance for better lives.

Speaking at a development rally at Chilumba in Karonga, President Banda said abuse of public funds by any leader is a sign of heartlessness, which Malawians must be opposed to.

“Do we take time to ask ourselves what social and economic transformation an amount of K61 billion would have done to the lives of the people of Malawi?” asked President Banda.

She was referring to revelations that immediate past President late Bingu wa Mutharika accumulated wealth during his eight-year tenure of K61 billion.

“Do we know how many roads, health centres, houses would have been constructed and the amount of drugs that money would have procured for the people of Malawi?” questioned President.

“That is a lesson to all of us that as Malawians we must never allow this to happen again,” she added.

“Never again,” she emphasized.

President Banda greets a beneficiary of a new house being constructed under the Mudzi Transformation Trust

President Banda greets a beneficiary of a new house being constructed under the Mudzi Transformation Trust

The Malawi leader said the revelations vindicate her assertions at the time she entered the High Office that she had inherited empty coffers.

“Today, I think you understand why the coffers that I inherited were empty,” she opined.

She, however, said her government has worked so hard to patch many potholes that had littered the economic terrain that she inherited.

“As I speak today, the country has never had such substantial amounts of import cover in a long time as we have at this moment,” she informed, adding this shows that work worth commending has been done.

President Banda addressed the rally after undertaking a number of official engagements in Karonga, including handing over tools and implements to the youth, houses to the Malawi Defence Force at Chilumba Baracks and a Maternity Shelter at Chilumba Rural Hospital.

The President also toured a pilot Mudzi Transformation Trust (MTT) project under adjacent to the Chilumba Rural Hospital where decent houses for villagers are being constructed.

The Mudzi Transformation Trust is aimed at, among other things, to assist the poor or less privileged access basic social amenities such as decent shelter.

“While undertaking such efforts, let me emphasize that I would also like to see the private sector and non-governmental organizations to join hands with government in the sale of decent houses to the public at an affordable rate and provision of the same to vulnerable groups of people including the aged, women and orphaned children for the betterment of their lives, respectively,” she urged.

The Malawi leader commended the people of Karonga for their enterprising spirit which, she said had enabled them to raise the floor of development in the area on their own.

“This is very commendable, and I wish to urge you to continue with this spirit,” said President Banda, promising to give them a hand in every effort they undertake to transform their lives.

Speaking earlier, Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga commended the President for empowering the youth of Karonga who, he said, form about two-thirds of district’s population.

He was reacting to the hand-over ceremony of the tools and implements to the youths under YEDEF that the President had presided over at Karonga Boma earlier.

Kyungu pleaded with the President to intervene by advising mining companies in Karonga to pass the proceeds of their mining activities on to the surrounding communities.

The Paramount Chief cited the Karonga District Hospital which, he said was in acute need of expansion, adequate and modern facilities and trained staff because it not only serves people of the district but also from Chitipa and neighbouring Tanzania.

“These mining companies can inject part of the proceeds from their mining activities towards raising the standards and capacity of the health facility,” Kyungu suggested.

He asked President Banda to raise the status of Karonga district to a town or municipality because “it is the hub of economic activity in the northern region.”

Chief of area where the rally happened, Traditional Authority Wasambo, hoped the face of Chilumba would change under the administration of President Banda following the positive work that has been done so far under her leadership.

He commended President Banda on the selection of Senior Chief Kwaitaine of Ntcheu to spearhead the Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood initiative, saying he has wisdom and heart of gold.

The President announced the elevation of Traditional Authority Wasambo to the status of a Senior Chief.

Paramount Chief Kyungu addresses the gathering

Paramount Chief Kyungu addresses the gathering

President Banda greets Paramount Chief Kyungu on arrival at Karonga Boma to present business equipment to the youth

President Banda greets Paramount Chief Kyungu on arrival at Karonga Boma to present business equipment to the youth

President Banda samples some of the tools

President Banda samples some of the tools

The President samples some of the tools

The President samples some of the tools

One entreprenuer explains to President Banda his business venture

One entreprenuer explains to President Banda his business venture

The crowds in Karonga when President Banda visited the district on Tuesday

The crowds in Karonga when President Banda visited the district on Tuesday

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