Chakwera calls for responsible and God-fearing citizenship

Malawi President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has called for responsible and God-fearing citizenship in order for the country to realize its social and economic aspirations.

Chakwera warned that Malawi could fall into a trap of going around in circles unless citizens embrace theology of nationhood, citizenship, liberation, self-reliance and economics.

The Malawi leader made the remarks when he presided over the launch of the Theological Society of Malawi. The launch took place at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe on Thursday.

Chakwera described Malawi as a country in desperate need of change, yet its citizens are not forthcoming to facilitate that change.

He therefore challenged citizens to commit themselves to hardworking spirit and patriotism, stressing that these are critical virtues in rebuilding the broken systems.

“We are all able to look around us and see a country in desperate need of change. Any Malawian is able to see that we need new roads, new hospitals, new transport system, new schools, new universities, new farms, new trade deals, and new cities. Some would even say that we also need new politics. But what is not so obvious to everyone, which is actually the most important thing, is that if Malawi is going to have all these new things we have a great appetite for, then the first thing Malawi must get is a new kind of citizen,” he said.

He added, “That new kind of citizen means that we need a theology of nationhood, a theology of citizenship, a theology of liberation, a theology of self-reliance, and a theology of economics. If we do not embrace how God made the world, or the principles he designed the world to function by, or the role he designed for us to make the world flourish, or the rules he put in place for us to follow to grow and create wealth, then we are going to keep going around in circles as a country.”

Chakwera stated that Malawi is currently in a mess because of some unpatriotic citizens who willfully broke the systems due to their greed.

He challenged that if the country is to achieve or attain the new objectives outlined in Malawi 2063, Malawians need a new kind of citizen with a new kind of thinking and a new way of seeing the world.

At this point, Chakwera implored citizens to assume responsibility in fixing the broken systems.

“The broken healthcare system we have did not break by itself: It was broken by citizens with a broken mindset. The corrupt State we are working to clean up today did not corrupt itself: It was corrupted by citizens with a corrupted mindset.

“The irresponsible public institutions that have neglected their duties and left entire sectors at the mercy of cartels did not become dysfunctional on their own: They were disembowelled by citizens with a selfish mindset. The substandard roads, buildings, and farms that have created substandard services and products that cannot compete on the world market did not create themselves: they were created by citizens with a substandard mindset,” he narrated.

“But we somehow all believe that the one responsible for the terrible shape the country is in is someone else, and we also believe that the one responsible for fixing the country is someone else. But if the new Malawi we are building is going to continue to rise, then we must each accept the part we play in damaging the country and must also accept the part we must play in fixing it. We need a new Malawi with a new citizen who takes responsibility for the country,” Chakwera emphasized.

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