I’m alive but not life president –Mutharika

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika on Sunday retaliated that he will not seek to elongate his stay in power at the expiry of his constitutional mandate in 2014, saying as a democrat he will make voluntary retirement.

Speaking when he presented diplomas and degrees to 658 graduating secondary school teachers at Domasi College of Education in Zomba, in remarks Nyasa Times monitored on state broadcaster MBC, Mutharika vowed to step down in two years’ time, although he will simply hand over power to his brother Peter, now foreign minister.

“I like for the record to make a correction; I am not a life president. Indeed I am alive but I am not a life president,” said the jovial Mutharika after an earlier speaker had insinuated he was President for  life.

Mutharika: I am not president for life

“If I am quite, tomorrow The Nation (newspaper) and Zodiac (radio) will say Bingu is life president,” he added.

“I am retiring very happily in 2014,” said Mutharika, claiming he will leave Malawi “better than I found it.”

Mutharika said his “voluntary retirement” is a demonstration that he is a democrat at heart, saying an autocrat has no timeframe, can stay forever.

Source of inspiration

President  Mutharika  advised the newly graduated secondary school teachers to aim at becoming sources of inspiration to students so that they succeed in their education.

“The important aim you can have as a teacher is to seek to inspire your students to learn and achieve… You must be a source of inspiration,” Mutharika said .

He said teachers must always aspire to make the learning environment lively and their subjects interesting for the students to succeed.

The president further reminded the would-be-teachers to always understand what they are teaching so that they do not be ridiculed by the students, most of whom are already acquainted with various issues because of the technology advancement.

Mutharika also observed that the country’s socio economic development could only be increased if Malawians acquire better education standards hence his commitment towards its promotion.

The Malawi leader then reminded the graduating teachers that the basis of the country’s development lies in them.

“It is not the politicians [who hold the basis of development], it is not civil societies or the demonstrations in the streets, no, it is you the teachers,” said Mutharika in a visibly jovial mood.

Mutharika also asked the graduating teachers to assist him in transforming the country from a predominantly importing and consuming nation to a predominantly manufacturing and exporting country.

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