Chakwera calls for active citizenship in resolving socioeconomic problems

Malawi President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has challenged Malawians to be active participants in the fight against the social and economic challenges that the country is currently going through.

Chakwera, who was speaking at Malawi Square today during the commemoration of the 58th Malawi Independence Day, emphasized that the decisions citizens will make regarding the direction the country must take matters most in addressing these challenges.

“On this 58th Commemoration of Malawi’s Independence Day, we stand at a crossroads as a nation. We stand in the valley of decision, and we must make a choice. We must choose what our conduct towards national development will be, whether we will sit in the stands as individual spectators to point out the problems in our midst or run on the field as one team to help Malawi reach its goal of self-reliance and prosperity,” said the President.

President Lazarus Chakwera reads Nehemiah 2 vs 17 to 18 during the National Prayer of worship to mark the 58th Independence celebrations at BICC-pic by Lisa Kadango Malango

He added, “We must choose what our attitude towards our fellow citizens will be, whether to mock Malawians who keep trying to make a difference even after failing publicly or to cheer them on and ignite their faith in the success that will be theirs if they do not give up. We must choose what our relationship with government and public institutions will be, whether it will be one of direct engagement to offer help to public officers who operate under very challenging circumstances or one of distant castigation to throw stones and insults at them for our own popularity and amusement.”

Chakwera further challenged Malawians to choose whether to be on the side that contributes to Malawi’s problems of poverty, corruption, greed, foreign exploitation, gossip, negativity, laziness, hopelessness, crime, low standards, discrimination, vandalism, tribalism, and the abuse of power and resources, or on the side that contributes to Malawi’s development, reforms, investment, positivity, hard work, transparency, patriotism, freedom, security, peace, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Different Political parties present during the commemmoration of the 58th Independence Celebrations at BICC-pic by Lisa Kadango Malango

He said Malawians have the power and right to choose what Malawi’s place in the global community will be such as being a puppet and pawn in the race between the West and the East or to be a leading and shining example in the Global South by accomplishing things other nations can admire, benefit from, and learn from.

“We must choose what our priorities in public spending and public discourse will be, whether to waste the little time and resources we have on petty matters that focus on politics, personalities, positions, and pomp to generate more and more sensational headlines, more and more jealousies, more and more hostilities, and more and more divisions, or to focus our time and resources on matters that build our country’s economy, our country’s industries, our country’s unity, our country’s pride, our country’s systems, our country’s infrastructure, our country’s healthcare, our country’s education, and our country’s international standing.

“And above all, we must choose what story we will tell about ourselves and our country to each other and the rest of the world, whether to say that Malawi is a nation sinking in the quicksand of Covid-19 pandemic, climate change impacts, toxic debt, corruption, and the negative effects of foreign wars, or to shout at every roof top and every opportunity that A New Malawi Is Rising,” he said.

“Today, I am calling on all Malawians everywhere, here at home and abroad, to join hands in declaring through words and deeds that show the world that A New Malawi Is Rising. And when they ask why it is that the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court was able to correct a gross constitutional error and empowered a new Electoral Commission to restore constitutional order by conducting the most credible presidential election in our nation’s history, tell them it’s because A New Malawi is Rising.

“Or when the world asks you why it is that in this country, we now finally have a zero-tolerance policy towards lawlessness and corruption, no matter who is involved, tell them it’s because A New Malawi Is Rising. When they ask you why it is that in this country, we now finally have roads, schools, bridges, district council offices, railway, power plants, and hospitals under construction all over the country, tell them it’s because A New Malawi Is Rising. When they ask you why it is that in this country, we now finally talk about development projects and programs instead of how we are going to destroy and humiliate the leader of opposition, tell them it’s because A New Malawi Is Rising.

“When they ask you why it is that in this country, we now finally have a free press with no single journalist in jail for publishing negative stories about the government and no single citizen in jail for insulting the President, tell them it’s because A New Malawi is Rising. When they ask you why it is that in this country, we now finally have empowered Parliament, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, the Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission, the Financial Intelligence Authority, the Malawi Gaming Board, the Office of the President and Cabinet, the Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Homeland Security, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labour, the Embassies of Malawi to the United States, the United Nations, Belgium, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, and Mozambique, tell them it’s because A New Malawi is Rising,” he narrated.

Quoting words of the Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 60, Chakwera urged Malawians to “Rise and Shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”

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