Chakwera allays fears on AIP future

Malawi President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has allayed fears surrounding the future of the Affordable Input Programme (AIP), stressing that his administration is working hard to ensure that beneficiaries access the input in good time.

Chakwera made the sentiments in Ntcheu on Saturday during activities to celebrate the Umhlangango wa Maseko Annual Cultural Festal and the 10th anniversary of  Inkosi Gomani V reign.

The President said he was aware that there is anxiety among Malawians about the future of the programme and other problems and that his government is committed to addressing them.

“I also know of the problem of security lapses in the district as a whole, to the point that people are afraid to even walk around the Trading Centre in the evening. I know of the problem of access to government services, starting with NEEF loans, which some people here are being unjustly denied access to based on the political party they support.

“The same applies to the anxiety you all feel about whether you will be able to access fertilizer at a subsidized price through the AIP programme this year. And I know that even access to water here is a problem, despite the fact that Mpira Dam has water in abundance. These and other problems are on the radar of my Administration because we are determined to get these matters resolved,” said Chakwera.

At this point, Chakwera saluted Inkosi Gomani V for always availing himself to offer solutions where and when the government needs it most.

He observed that Ngoni chief has always been active and forthcoming in providing solutions to various challenges affecting the country.

“I am particularly inspired by how this Festival has been organized in such a way that all of us who have come from other parts of the country have a stake in it. The journey to this day has been one of inviting and engaging all of us to make a contribution towards its success. I must therefore commend you for this approach and spirit of shared responsibility, Your Majesty.

“However, I can’t say that I am surprised by your decision to put this Festival together in a spirit of shared responsibility. The spirit of shared responsibility is one Your Majesty has always championed and modelled, and I avail myself of this opportunity to call on all Malawians to follow your example. No matter what problems are happening in the country, you have always taken an approach of making practical contributions to the solutions,” said Chakwera.

He added, “To the problem of climate change impacts that are affecting our rain cycle and farmers, your response has never been to cry about it, but to contribute your ideas to climate-smart and climate-resilient approaches to managing our natural resources.

“To the problem of the loss of cultural and historical anchors and values among Malawi’s youth, your response has never been to finger point, but to contribute to the solution by establishing libraries and programs by which the values of Maseko Ngoni culture can be passed from one generation to the next.

“This approach is worth commending because it is so refreshing and rare. There is no denying that there are serious problems that we are fixing in every sector of this country, but where many have chosen to respond by making a complaint, you have chosen to respond by making a contribution. I commend you for this.”

However, the Malawi leader took a swipe at public and civil servants who are reportedly brining chaos in the country.

Chakwera cited police officers and community leaders who are conniving with illegal immigrants to facilitate their illegal entry into the country.

He told the gathering that he is aware that some public officers are illegally letting people from Mozambique cross the border and illegally giving them documents to get Malawian passports.

“I also know of the police stations in some areas here that are refusing to help citizens unless they pay to be served. All those involved in these illegal activities should know that the Ministry of Homeland Security in my Government is getting to the bottom of this criminal enterprise.

“However, Your Majesty, I want to commend you that while these problems exist and while you are counting on us to address them, you have insisted that the right response for you and your communities is to contribute towards making Malawi better.

“As such, it is no surprise that Malawians from all regions of the country have gathered here and contributed to the success of this day. We come in the spirit of shared responsibility because it is the spirit you have been modelling for all of us.

“And so I congratulate Your Majesty once again for this milestone of a decade on the throne and I wish you a successful celebration of this Festival,” said the President.

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