President Lazarus Chakwera used his inauguration speech at Kamuzu Barracks in Lilongwe on Monday to salute Vice-President Saulos Klaus Chilima for his frontline role he played in championing democratic change that has lead to his presidency.
“To reach this inauguration as State President and State Vice President, Dr. Chilima and I have ridden the wave of indispensable contributions made by fellow Malawians who each rose to the occasion in different capacities to lend their hand to the cause of justice,” said Chakwera.
He also said if it were not for Chilima and the other party presidents of the Tonse Alliance “forfeiting their political aspirations to forge an unbeatable partnership at the polls,” there could have been no change.
President Chakwera also praised the people who contributed to the election case challenge and subsequent re-election, including the court witnesses, judges, civil society, journalists, members of Parliament, campaign funders, Malawi Electoral Commission, Police and Army.
“Without the patriotic efforts and sacrifices of these Malawians, none of us would be here. If it were not for the courage of over one hundred Malawians who toiled through the night to gather evidence of electoral fraud so that our court petition against the 2019 election was built on facts, none of us would be here.
“ If it were not for the courage of over twenty witnesses who submitted testimony to the court in the face of death threats, none of us would be here. If it were not for the courage of over a dozen lawyers who stood up to the abuse of office and misuse of the law by a politically compromised Attorney General [Kalekeni Kaphale], none of us would be here.”
Chakwera continued with his catalogue of salutes: “ If it were not for the courage of the five judges of the Constitutional Court to do right by law despite attempts to bribe them in the interest of subverting justice, none of us would be here. If it were not for the courage of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition [HRDC] galvanizing citizens across the country to sustain protests for ten months straight despite the constant threat of arrest and cloud of teargas under which they marched, none of us would be here.
“If it were not for the courage of the Supreme Court to uphold and buttress the just ruling of the lower court in correcting both a constitutional anomaly regarding how a mandate to govern is secured and a constitutional crisis fashioned by one of their own, none of us would be here.”
While some business people were propelling to have former president Peter Mutharika hold on to power, Chakwera paid tribute to those that sacrificed their resources and workers donating money to give wings to the Tonse Alliance campaign “so that we could reach voters in far-flung places, none of us would be here.”
He also mentioned the courage of thousands of volunteers going door to door, village to village, city to city, to reach voters that.
Chakwera also heralded the courage of the new leadership of the Electoral Commission led by Justice Dr Chifundo Kachale to deliver a credible election with limited resources and limited time.
He specially recognised the role of prayers in championing change.
“ If it were not for thousands of knees scraping floors across this country in night-long prayers that gave heaven no rest until God’s kingdom came, none of us would be here.
“ I could go on and on, but the point would remain the same, that it is the Tonse Philosophy of collective responsibility that brought us to this milestone and it is that same philosophy that will bring us to the next.”
Chakwera said building a new Malawi will have to be a team effort every step of the way.
“And when we have differences, we will still have to listen to each other and accommodate each other, for we have no other compatriots in the entire world than each other. And when you see another citizen who is not doing their part in the work that is in front of us, accept it as your duty to the country to rebuke them and help them reengage in the process of nation-building.
“In the same way, when you see another citizen who is making great strides in transforming their home, or their neighbourhood, or their village, or their workplace, or their business, or their country, accept it as your duty to the country to celebrate and reward them without succumbing to jealousy and mudslinging,” said Chakwera.
President Chakwera said in equal measure, whether a Malawian live locally or abroad, when he or she see a foreigner exploiting any of a fellow Malawian citizen or trashing the country, “accept it as your duty to the country to stand up for the flag and speak of the unsung beauties of this land God has preserved as our national inheritance.”
He asked each citizen to give their best for Malawi and “do our best for Malawians.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :