Mutharika says smoking started before Jesus walked on earth: ‘Malawi will not feel guilty for growing tobacco’

Malawian President Peter Mutharika has said the country will continue to grow tobacco and will not feel guilty about it amidst opposition from anti-smoking groups, saying people have been smoking even before Jesus Christ walked on this earth.

Mutharika inspecting the tobacco leaf

Mutharika inspecting the tobacco leaf

Mutharika saod Malawi would continue to support the tobacco industry, the mainstay of the economy and the country’s second largest employer after the government, until alternative cash crops were found.

In an interview published in the London-based New African magazine, Muthatrika asserted that Malawi cannot stop growing tobacco overnight and will continue growing tobacco based on trade requirements until when there is no demand,

He said people have the option to smoke or not to smoke.

“We are not forcing them to smoke, we are just growing tobacco so we don’t have to feel guilty,” Mutharika said.

The Malawi leader pointed out that tobacco forms about 60% of our foreign exchange earnings.

“When I was in Washington last year, I talked to all the big US tobacco companies about the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the activities of the tobacco lobby. The market is going to go down, no doubt about it; but somebody is always going to smoke, whether it is in Vietnam or China or Taiwan,” said Mutharika.

President Mutharika stressed that people have been smoking since time immemorial “even before Jesus Christ walked on this earth. And people will continue to smoke. So there will always be a market, it may be smaller, but it will be there.”

However, Mutharika said Malawi will diversify its economy from tobacco, by going into mining and other cash crops.

“ We are going to put one million hectares of land under irrigation at Salima near Lake Malawi to grow rice, legumes, sugar cane, and mangoes. We hope that with mining and diversification for other crops, we can reduce our dependence on tobacco,” said Mutharika.

“But I don’t think people will completely stop growing tobacco. I was even told by the US tobacco giant, Philip Morris, that they are coming up with new forms of tobacco because of the danger inherent in smoking.

“They are also going to increase their research into less dangerous tobacco to ensure that the industry survives. At the moment Malawi is dependent on tobacco, but we are moving away slowly to other areas,” said Mutharika.

Malawi’s draft economic growth strategy proposes a diversified agricultural sector, where tobacco will be replaced by crops like cotton and cassava.

Greater emphasis on mining, tourism and manufacturing is also planned—although this has been met with scepticism from certain business representatives.

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Wisdom Of Thomas
Guest

Mr President is an antichrist, are you trying to say Lord Jesus christ failed to stop smoking?

wawa
Guest

you will Die soon

M'busa
Guest
But this Gvt, always against God. Kaliati compared Biblical poor Lazarus to Dr Chakwera; kuti he can’t rule Malawi -he just be waiting for the next kingdom of God. Now Mr president comparing tobacco era ndi BC . ANTHUWA NDI A SAULI. God Cannot be happy that nonsense. No wonder in U’r first term ma floods like never b4. Njala yosakamba. Insecurity . Kwacha depreciating bcoz tobacco season yatha. ma salary kuchedwa. commodities high inspite of no salary increament. THESE ARE MULUZI TIMES. Amalawi Tilape. A sin against son of God is forgivable but against the Holy Spirit = catastrophe.
George phiri
Guest

Context is the issue here. Peter is talking about time factor and people are talking about spirituality. Peter did NOT say Jesus smoked. Understand before we comment. Dont even demonise tobacco because those that grow it are either christians or muslims. Both who believe in Jesus.

George phiri
Guest

Whats the connection between Tobacco, Jesus and Muhammad? Peter mentioned Jesus out of his own will and he has the right. I urge muslims not to get carried away by insulting Jesus because if anyone insults Muhammad is because of his/her own ignorace so dont even try to insult Jesus. Muslims are commanded in the quran to believe in all the prophets and that includes Jesus. By the way its not all christians who believe that Jesus is God so dont insult each other. Have your faith and let me have mine. God is the best of judges.

baggio
Guest

Mr president let god be god,osamayelekeza ZANU zamudimazo ndi mulungu,4m today u have to know that Jesus is son of god ngati munalibe choti mukambe azanu amagokhala chete zoyelekezela zonsezi inu kukachula Jesus,mwina simudziwa mau,Mau amati osamatchula mulungu wako pachabe be careful a bwana osamazipalamulila moto

phwado
Guest

Old people always are resistance to change.Because their medula oblangata has so deteriorated that the no longer think normally,they feel what was good in their good old time is still good.Poor Old Peter Mutharika and your fellow gogos.Things have changed and you must know that.Tobacco is no longer a profitable crop.We needed an alternative source of income.Unfortunately your greedy brother stole proceeds from Kayelekera.Poor Malawian choice of leaders

innocent chiyagwaza mhango
Guest
innocent chiyagwaza mhango

Big up peter
May be amalawi do not understand it’s not about jesus but about “tobacco since time immemorial” and that’s true.
Koma madala peter ndithawi sopano yoti we shouldn’t be behind times. Allow us ana anu to run things. Timanyadila kumakhala ndi president ngati inu madala.so much motivating . Malawi is rich.we are rich we got everything.lets support each other.we coming to invest home.sizotipusitsa ndi ndale

Wa BB
Guest
Mathanyula anu ajaso akamakupezetsani ndalama mutiuzaso kuti anayamba before Christ. Just find an alternative basi. It doesn’t matter when this evil thing started. What the world is saying is that this thing needs to be stopped. Don’t be a clueless leader. On the other hand guys lets not waste time arguing over the right way for praising the Lord. Let God judge us when time comes. Some of us we talk like whatever we are saying comes from God when its just our opinion after reading the scriptures. Ine all I know is that there is God but as to… Read more »
Bande Brian,Bac,MBA (2016)
Guest

LETS GROW TOBACCO.IT IS A STRATEGIC CROP.

ulanda
Guest

King James ndiwe kape bwanji!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chidude chenicheni ndi Muhamad wako wodyedwa ndi agaruyo wamva

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