The First Lady Gertrude Mutharika has called on politicians in the country to learn to co-exist and work together despite coming from different political parties.
Mrs Mutharika spoke on Friday night when she hosted Malawi Members of Parliament who are members to the Pan-African Parliament-PAP to a dinner in Johannesburg South Africa, where she also opened this year’s PAP Women’s Conference.
United Democratic Front (UDF) Parliamentarian Abubakar Mmbaya, People’s Party (PP) MP Roy Kachale and Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Cecilia Chazama attended the dinner.
The First Lady hailed the MPs for accepting her invitation saying unity among leaders of different political parties is essential and critical for Malawi to make progress in its development agenda.
“We need to understand and accept that Malawi will remain a multiparty state where different parties will exist and people will belong to political parties of their choice. But that should not be a recipe for divisions and fighting, it should in fact be a way of bringing together different ideas that should strengthen our unity and zeal to move our country forward and take our people out of poverty,” she said.
The First Lady urged the Malawi PAP members to represent Malawi well during their tenure and ensure that women issues are being brought to the attention of the PAP.
Speaking during the dinner, the MPs expressed gratitude for the gesture, saying it is a demonstration of goodwill from the country’s first citizens.
“You had all the right and freedom to choose who to invite to have dinner with you. It was possible only to invite members of the DPP, this is a very rare occurrence that should teach some of us that we must always stand together,” said PP’s Roy Kachale.
While echoing Kachale’s sentiments earlier, UDF’s Mmbaya also commended the First Lady for accepting an invitation to be Special Guest of Honor at this year’s PAP Women’s Conference.
“We are grateful that you saw it fit to invite us to dinner. Most importantly we are proud of you for flying the Malawi flag higher at PAP with your presence and powerful speech. Be assured that as we continue to represent Malawi at the Pan-African Parliament we will not disappoint you. You may need to know that you are the first Malawian First Lady to open the PAP conference and that is good for our country,” said Mmbaya.