Chiradzulu East Member of Parliament (MP) of the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Henry Mussa has hailed President Joyce Banda for encouraging unity among members of various political parties, saying hers was a “truly democratic leadership”.
The MP and former minister under the DPP Government of the late dictator Bingu wa Mutharika said this during the official elevation ceremony of Senior Chief Kadawere of the district, which was presided over by the Head of State at Ndunde Headquarters on Saturday.
“Look at the gathering here; there is a mixture of UDF members in their official yellow colours; then here we are, members of the DPP; and then the members of the governing People’s Party are here too; all of us witnessing this memorable event, in harmony. This is because of Your Excellency’s truly democratic leadership where you have said Malawians should unite in the quest to develop the nation despite holding different political views,” the legislator said.
Speaking to the tens of hundreds of people, President Banda concurred with the DPP legislator that indeed in her four months as Head of State, Malawians of different political extraction were more united than ever before.
She observed that if it were in the old days under the previous regime (s), people of different political parties would not peacefully converge at one place without any cases of violence.
“If it were a few months ago, the DPP members would not have been here; they could have been scampering for their lives for fear of overzealous ruling party members. Today, the story is totally different; this is the way to go if Malawi as a nation has to register quick and positive strides in social and economic development,” said ‘JB’, as she is fondly called by her adorers.
Banda observed that Senior Chief Kadewere was among the most hardworking and disciplined chiefs but wondered why it had to take 11 years after his promotion before he was officially installed as ‘Senior Chief’, suspecting political interference.
“Chief Kadewere was promoted to the status of Senior Chief on 24 June 2001 by Dr. Bakili Muluzi. But he was never officially elevated and installed as such until today. This was unfortunate,” said the Head of State, thanking “God for this day that I am here today to perform this noble task of officially elevating my father as Senior Chief”.
President Banda said before she became President, she had heard stories about the previous regime publicly denigrating the Senior Chief, apparently for being suspected of not doing their political bidding.
“Senior Chief Kadawere is a Yao; I am a Yao by tribe. In our Yao culture and tradition, it is a taboo to publicly condemn or denigrate a chief; it’s unheard of. I want to advise and encourage all Malawians to respect elders particularly our traditional chiefs,” she said.
The President advised the ‘new’ chief to be the true servant of the people who listens to people’s concerns and aspirations. She hailed the role that chiefs have played in the recent past in matters of national security and the promotion of maternal health and safe motherhood.
“Chiefs are an integral part of my Government’s development agenda. They are the force that drives development at the grassroots and that is why when I became President in April, chiefs were the very first group that I touched base with at Mount Soche Hotel (Blantyre).
“I don’t want chiefs to be abused for political expediency as was the case under the previous regime but that they must take up their rightful role, which is that of leading their subjects in development initiatives”, she said.
The Head of State advised chiefs against corrupt practices and preferential selection of people to benefit from the government’s public work cash transfer initiative, food for work and the fertilizer subsidy programmes.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :