President Peter Mutharika has hit at Malawi press for writing what he calls “rubbish” against his government which they do their watchdog role and challenged his critics to come forth with constructive ideas that would help develop the country, further reminding them that he is leading a listening and all inclusive administration.
He also urged Malawians to develop a hard-working spirit and avoid corruption and other vices that derail development.
Mutharika then asked various leaders to always preach unity, tolerance and co-existence among people of different ethnic and political backgrounds.
“We shouldn’t be a people without integrity. If we have dignity we cannot indulge in corruption and other vices that derail development,” said Mutharika during a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) political rally he addressed at Nyambandwe ground in Ndirande, Blantyre on Sunday.
The Malawi leader further observed that it is only when people are united and love their country that they can ably take part in meaningful development activities for their communities and the country as a whole.
“If we love our country, it will be easier for us to take part in development initiatives. Are we going to just wait for some foreigners to come and develop this nation?” queried the president.
He also said Malawians need to have personal dignity and integrity, saying those are some of the pillars that make a humble nation.
“Had we been a nation with values and principles, Cashgate would not have happened. Mismanagement of government funds at Capital Hill, widely known as cashgate, happened because some people are greedy and have no dignity and a sense of responsibility,” he added.
Mutharika quashed criticism against his government in the local press, saying newspapers are focusing on “rubbish.”
“For the past 12 months, the DPP government has managed to implement the developmental agenda we promised in our 2014 DPP manifesto. For instance, I have maintained a lean cabinet, we have also managed to construct eleven community colleges in various districts, some people have started benefiting from cement and iron sheets subsidy programme among others,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika said he was saddened that some quarters of the society were only looking at mistakes rather than coming forth with ideas that would develop the country.
“Whatever we are implementing is to promote the development of the country. Two months ago I urged everyone to come with ideas so that we develop the country, but none has come forward. My government is ready to accept any constructive ideas from anyone as long we achieve a common goal,” he stated.
On security, Mutharika pledged his government’s relentless support to the Malawi Police Service. He said government had already provided 50 vehicles to the service and would provide 100 more to help law enforcers in their operations.
“My appeal is that we should alert the police whenever we suspect someone, because they are the same people that we live with that terrorize communities. The police also have a witness fund, I have already donated K3 million and I urge all well wishers to make some donations and help the service,” urged Mutharika.
Mutharika also rubbished assertions that his public appointments were favouring people from Thyolo where he comes from.
“I have read in some newspapers that I have got many advisers and that am favoring the Southern Region. This is not true. The media exaggerated on this,” he said.
“My government is always appointing people on merit not as what others are speculating. For instance Chief Justice and ACB director are from the North, Chief secretary is from Zomba while others are from the Central Region,” explained Mutharika.
The Malawi leader also promised to deal with the problem of medical drug shortage, stating that drugs were available in the country but ‘there seems to be a problem somewhere’.
On a lighter note, Mutharika said he has always had a Ndirande connection from his childhood days.
“Ndinkakhala ku Zingwangwa, koma madzulo ndimaswera kuno[ku Ndirande] chifukwa kunali ma bottle store ambiri,” said Mutharika. (I used to stay in Zingwangwa township but mostly was frequenting Ndirande because there were so many beer pubs here.)
Speaking earlier, Vice President Saulos Chilima urged the general public to join hands with government in developing the country.
Thousands of people attended the rally. –Additional reporting by Mphatso Nkoma, Nyasa Times and Memory Kutengule & Donnex Chisala of Mana
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