Prominent Malawians and ordinary citizens roundly hailed President Lazarus Chakwera’s speech at inauguration ceremony at Kamuzu Barracks in Lilongwe as “inspiring” and said it reflected his vision and resolve to build a new Malawi.
Business tycoon Jimmy Koreia Mpatsa described Chakwera’s inaugural address as unprecedented and historic which has infused new energy, trust, and pride among the countrymen.
“My God, what a powerful speech by our President, a moving speech I’ve never heard from any of our past leaders except Kamuzu Banda in the early part of his leadership.
“At this moment I am a proud Malawian,” said Mpatsa, owner of Mpatsa Holdings Limited.
A member of erstwhile ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Helen Buluma said with Chakwera, a “hope for a new Malawi restored.”
Buluma said Malawi is now on a path of renewal, growth and development that trickles down to all, not just a few.
Chakwera was inaugurated at Malawi Defence Force Headquarters, Kamuzu Barracks, in Lilongwe, before a sizeable audience strictly admitted in with total adherence to coronavirus preventive measures.
He said Malawi requires rebuilding “from the rubble of corruption, passivism, laziness and donor dependency” among others.
Chakwera, among others, pledged to reduce presidential powers and empower institutions to operate independently, including Parliament and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
President Chakwera said apart from declaring his assets each year, he will be going to Parliament to be questioned by legislators about state affairs.
“We must clear the rubble of impunity, for it has left our governance institutions in ruins,” he said.
Chakwera also committed to meeting with the leader of opposition personally every three months to listen to alternative ways of running government affairs.
He also took to time to request development partners to respect the “vision and plans for our own country and to partner with us in ways that respect our dignity and sovereignty, not ways that undermine it.”
Chakwera further challenged development partners to respect the country’s vision and plans and to partner with Malawi in ways that respect the dignity of the people and sovereignty of the country; not ways that undermine it.
Social media influencer Chimwemwe John-Paul Manyozo praised the speech as “so inspiring.”
He said: “ I heard it. I felt it. After that speech you can’t help but go back to the field and start working. Good food for the hardworking person.”
Editor-In-Chief of Malawi’s media giant, Times Group, George Kasakula who was giving live television commentary at the inauguration, said the speech was inspiring and farsighted.
“It was a powerful inspiring speech,” noted Kasakula.
Newspaper columnist and prolific journalist Golden Matonga said “Chakwera’s speech was brilliant. But we must now hold him to account for his every word. If he delivers, this country will never be the same. If he fails, we will let him know what a waste this beautiful speech was.”
Zambian-based Malawian social-commentator and journalist Idriss Ali Nassah branded the speech as rabble- rousing, saying : “Presidential speeches are not supposed to be orgasmic, but that damn near was. Good Lord, this sure feels good!”
A political science lecture at Blantyre International University, Sheriff Kaisi, said Chakwera’s speech was full of hope for Malawians, but he expressed doubt the new Malawi leader would fulfil his promises.
“My worry is, is Dr. Chakwera going to live by his own word? Because such words are not new in the ears of Malawians,” Kaisi said in quotes reported by Voice of America (VOA).
Martha Kaluma, who operates a hair dressing salon in Blantyre, also told VOA that although Chakwera’s speech sounded good, she is worried that he will not fulfil his promises.
“I cannot believe him or trust him  percent,” she said. “Maybe I can give him 50 percent for now. The other 50 percent will come as we go along.”
A critic of immediate past president Peter Mutharika, Allan Ntata said the commitments President Chakwera made in his inaugural speech “offers so much hope for Malawi. This President is serious.”
Governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali said “best speech so far from President Chakwera. Provides a good basis for accountability.”
Dr Mathews Mtumbuka said a great speech is characterised by structure, styles, message, delivery and connection with audience which Chakwera had all in it.
Chief executive officer of Nation Publications Limited, Mbumba Banda commented : “What we needed to hear. Great start. Now is the time to work. As the leadership does its part, everyone must also do their part. Everyone must hold everyone else to account.”
Chakwera emerged winner in the June 23 fresh election in which he amassed about 59 percent beating Peter Mutharika.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :