President Joyce Banda pulled massive crowds in Phalombe one of the districts in the Lomwe belt considered to be opposition DPP stronghold, where many cheered the Malawi leader when she visited flood victims.
Addressing a rally at Lihaka Primary School Ground in the area of Traditional Chief Chiwalo in the district, President Banda who was buoyed with the swelling crowds of supporters clad in her Peoples Party orange colours, vowed to continue with her bold reforms.
President Banda told the people that during the past one year she has been Head of State, Malawi has experienced many positive developments, notably an improved economy and improved relations with neighbouring countries and traditional donors, who were estranged during the previous regime under the DPP and late Bingu wa Mutharika.
She said visits by the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Mozambique’s Armando Emilio Guebuza signaled a positive shift in Malawi international relations.
President Banda also noted that Malawi had achieved positive strides in press freedom; that shortage of fuel and forex is the thing of the past; and that infant and maternal mortality rates have drastically been reduced due to deliberate preventive policies under the Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood and Maternal Health.
“I intend to continue to be the servant of the people; I can assure you that there are more goodies in the offing and that the economy is destined for further improvement,” said President Banda, fondly called JB.
University of Malawi’s political scientist Mustapha Hussein said President Banda’s one year performance has been “ satisfactory”, but said there is room for improvement.
Banda was sworn in on April 7 last year, two days after the death her boss President Bingu wa Mutharika on April 5 who suffered a cardiac arrest.
Others who spoke at the event included Vice President Khumbo Kachali, governing People’s Party (PP) Vice President (Administration) and Transport Minister Sidik Muhammad Mia, PP Provincial Chair (South) Ali M’balaka and Education Minister Eunice Kazembe, among others.