Chakwera debunks ‘false narrative’ that Malawi is poor country: ‘Man-made poverty must be unmade’

President Lazarus Chakwera has said there is a “false narrative”  that Malawi is one of the  impoverished  countries in the world, saying poverty in southern African nation is “man-made”  and  “must be unmade.”

President Chakwera delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona) – Photo by Lisa Kadango
Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara interacts with Leader of Government business in the house Richard Chimwendo Banda-pic by Lisa Kadango
Vice President Salulos Chilima interacts with Speakers of Parliament at the opening of the -Pics by Lisa Kadango 
State President Dr Lazarus Chakwera and Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara inspects some of the tress at the Malawi Parliament-pic by Lisa Kadango
President Chakwera inspects a guard of honour mounted by Malawi Defence Force as part of the ritual in the state opening of parliament.-Photo by Lisa Kadango
Cross section of Members of Parliament during the opening of the 49th Session of Parliament-pic by Lisa Kadango
General Commander of the Malawi Defence Force Vincent Nundwe captured at the State opening of the 49th Session of Parliament-pic by Lisa Kadango

Chakwera said on Friday in Parliament when he delivered his  maided State of the Nation Address  (Sona) since his elected as President during the June 23 2020 fresh presidential elections.

The President said his intent in delivering the Sona was  to tell  the truth, “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”

He said the truth is Malawi’s most potent weapon for development, as well as the  defence against the “false narratives” often told about the country.

“For example, you may have heard it  that Malawi is a poor country, but we must reject this lie,” said Chakwera.

He said the country has been intentionally mismanaged in the past and that Malawi has suffered decades of bad government policies, stressing that Malawians are tired hence ushering him into power.

“Surely, my country, with 85 million dollars in gold exported to the Middle East every year, is not poor. My country, with a freshwater lake and multiple rivers capable of generating 100 million dollars a year in revenue, is not poor. My country, with soils fertile enough to grow the food needed to end hunger for good, is not poor. My country, home to the coffee-scented hills of Misuku in Chitipa and the tea- covered plains of Satemwa in Thyolo, is not poor. My country, home to the silhouettes of zebras and elephants grazing against the backdrop of a golden sunset, is not poor,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera stressed that Malawi  is not a poor country, but an impoverished one.

“Ours is a country stripped of its God-given wealth and potential by syndicates of people in the public sector who exploit decades of bad government policies and practices to enrich themselves and their private sector accomplices,” he said.

The President said Malawi was “intentionally mismanaged” to sustain and commodify a perpetual state of economic misery that affords certain entities, especially political parties and organizations, “a raison d’etre at the expense of Malawians.”

He said: “ In short, the poverty of our people is man-made, which means it can and must be unmade.”

Chakwera said the presidential elections which ushered him into power in June, Malawians showed that they are tired of the human causes of their impoverishment.

“They are tired of electing people to public office who use public funds for personal enrichment, not public service. They are tired of a civil service overrun by the rubble of unprofessional cronies who are neither civil nor of service.

“They are tired of parastatals ran by incompetent boards and careless executives. They are tired of governance institutions driven by layers of wasteful bureaucracy. They are tired of paying the highest taxes in the SADC region, only to see them wasted on pet projects that add no mileage to our pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals.

“They are tired of Parliament sessions that produce budget after budget to pay for the status quo without changing it. They are tired of hospitals without care, schools without desks, families without food, roads without tar, homes without electricity, communities without water, courts without justice, crops without markets, markets without capital, skills without jobs, jobs without wages, and wages without value. They are tired of the biting long winter of economic hibernation,” said Chakwera attracting hand-clapping from the government benches.

Chakwera said in order to get Malawians out of impoverished state, there is need for reforms in all the three branches of the government which he described as too corrupt.

He said the reforms would enable the three arms to serve the people of Malawi better.

The President also gave an economic, labour, education, health and tourism outlook for the country and the measures his government is putting in place to improve the sectors.

Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa said he would have a detailed response to Sona  when parliament reconvenes on Monday.

According to International Monetary Fund, Malawi  50.7 percent of the Malawi population lives below the poverty line and 25 percent living in extreme poverty.

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Ungwelu
Ungwelu
9 months ago

Luckily we all seem to be aware of this position. The problem becomes how to come out of it

Hadge
Hadge
9 months ago

Well said Mr President but what solutions do you have. Talking about the disease is half cured. Your actions are required in order to prove everyone wrong.

Mkamwini
Mkamwini
9 months ago
Reply to  Hadge

Bwana president; we havent heard, it’s TRUE Malawi is poor.

Kasuzga Milonga
Kasuzga Milonga
9 months ago

Mr President Sir, ….staying at such a palace in Lilongwe and such a beautiful house in Area 6 – you are not poor Sir. When you are traveling you have 6 cars on convoy – you are not poor Sir. Your children and your in-laws being on government payroll – they are not poor Sir. Your close friends with secure government jobs – they are not poor Sir. But we classified by IMF as 51% of the Malawi population, we are very poor Sir. We are poor because we do not have jobs though we have degrees, we do not… Read more »

Kyle
Kyle
9 months ago

Kasuzga Milonga, you are missing the point of what the president was saying.

jade
jade
9 months ago

speech Tamva and well spoken now can you please update us on the progress of the 1 million jobs

Kyle
Kyle
9 months ago
Reply to  jade

Jade, please don’t be inpatient, give our president a chance to create those 1 million jobs. He is a visionary man and he will deliver all his promises to Malawian people. Just wait and see.

Mwini muzi
9 months ago

What elements in economics do we use to measure the country’s wealth? Do you think we can be able to meet and excell on domestic manufacturing production with recurring electricity and quality standards challenges? Do you think our work force (human capital) is well trained to meet the production demands? Do you think we have adequate budget to cater for infrastructure ( telecommunications, road network, rail, airports capacity etc) in short term? Do you think we have capacity to have fully fledged commercial farming? Are our banks meeting the world standards? If answers to these questions are adverse, then Malawi… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Mwini muzi
Kyle
Kyle
9 months ago
Reply to  Mwini muzi

Mwini Mizu, when I just started reading your comments I thought you were an intelligent man but you were asking questions which you know the answers. Just to cut everything short. Do you realize that not only mining attract investors. Look Rwanda, where it is now. Fastest-growing country in Africa but they don’t have minerals. It takes one visionary President to turn around economy in the country, unlike those previous leaders we had in Malawi

New Dawn
New Dawn
9 months ago

Well presented SONA Mr President, I followed and understood every word you said, I did not see any sleeping MP

Me you
Me you
9 months ago

We are not yet tired of beautiful speeches without action. It’s just two months.
And we are not tired of the campaign period as evidenced by our attacks on DPP and constant reminders of 1 million jobs.
We are just tired of taking 3 meals each day. It’s just too much.

Ngodya zinayi Nokha Alliance
Ngodya zinayi Nokha Alliance
9 months ago

Malawi is a desperately poor country.There is no two ways about it.Umphawi wadzaoneni.

Kyle
Kyle
9 months ago

Kulibe umphawi ku Malawi, I agree with Mr President Chakwera. Before I used to think the same as everyone that my country was poor but then Tonse Alliance came into government that’s when I realized that indeed my country is rich and there is potential in Malawi.

Luka
Luka
9 months ago

To anyone who has not lost the ability to be inspired after decades of lackluster government, the President’s speech was truly inspiring. I was sorry for those MPs on the opposition side who felt obliged to sit playing with their phones instead of clapping. There was plenty in the speech that could have inspired them to work with the government to achieve common goals. Unfortunately, the opposition were unable to rise to the occasion. No doubt they will spend the next five years trying to frustrate Malawi’s plans for transformation. Sad.

New Dawn
New Dawn
9 months ago
Reply to  Luka

Well said, they are still in mourning period, still accept that they lost the election

ERUTU
ERUTU
9 months ago
Reply to  Luka

They’re useless tyre kickers

JAHMAN
JAHMAN
9 months ago
Reply to  Luka

hahaha! same old story of handclapping. I was infact suprised to see Saulos Chilima being one of the handclappers.

Richard Steel
Richard Steel
9 months ago
Reply to  JAHMAN

handclapping is not bad at all. It happens everywhere, and it will continue to happen. And Dr. Saulos Chilima was not wrong in clapping his hands. When people discourage handclapping is when someone says, ‘I will meet you on the streets and crush you with a tonne of bricks”, and then you clap hands. When a person with authority says, “Muona Nyekhwe”, and someone claps hands. You clap hands in agreement to something valuable that has been said, or done. We will clap hands for as long as the Tonse government walks the talk; and it begins with pronouncing what… Read more »

President Chisokonezo
President Chisokonezo
9 months ago

As an expert I say the monies list from corruption are not as much as indicated. First Malawi is poor because of failed strategies. Malawi needs production for exports, on farming needs to change on relying on tobacco, needs to increase mining as sourse of revenue. Otherwise America is the most corrupt country reference Enron, Parmalat, World com scandals testify. We need good strategies. Second country corrupt but rich is Italy. Another one Russia.

KKKK
KKKK
9 months ago

I 100% agree with you. We fail too much on strategies and implementation. We dwell much on taking negatives instead of cultivating opportunities out of our weaknesses.

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