Known for her passion, dedication, transparency, accountability and hard work in whatever she does, newly sworn-in Deputy Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Abida Sidik Mia, has fired a warning shot, charging that corruption, which is synonymous with land transactions at the ministry, will be dealt with without fear or favor.
Abida, herself a successful business lady and also a member of Parliament for Chikwawa Nkombedzi constituency, said she is going to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development on Monday, to among other things, clear the rubble of corruption in land transactions, which if not cleared, will leave us Malawians as foreigners in our own country.
The deputy minister, who during the road leading to the Tonse Alliance victory was known for her courage and fearless campaign of taking no prisoners in the quest of making Lazarus Chakwera ascend to the presidency, said: “Fellow citizens; yours truly is a fighter and together with my Minister, Honourable Kezzie Msukwa, it will be gloves off—a bare-knuckle fight against corruption and all bureaucratic bottlenecks that hamper effective delivery of services to the public.”
She added: “This is not mere rhetoric but a promise because as you heard from the President; we are on 5-month probation—to deliver or be delivered home. Think about it. The bar has been raised very high and it will be no child’s play to have one’s lifeline in cabinet extended as the president wants nothing short of stellar performance.”
The deputy minister however was quick to clarify that she will be workaholic to deliver results not for the fear of being ‘delivered home’ but because she wants “to make a significant contribution in building a new Malawi, leave a good legacy when all is said and done and more importantly inspire the girl child that it is possible to do a commendable job of perfecting that which is imperfect.”
Abida, perhaps aware of the public opinion surrounding her appointment, passionately asked the public for support as she executes her duties.
“I entreat you, my fellow citizens, to support me as I discharge my duties. Your support will spur me to succeed and my success at the ministry will be our country’s success,” she said.
Women now hold 39% of the ministerial and deputy minister roles in the cabinet appointed by Chakwera, 65, who unseated Peter Mutharika in a re-run presidential election last month, which compared to about 20% in the previous government
Four women are now ministers, up from two, including for community development and social welfare, education, and health.