President Joyce Banda and her governing People’s Party (PP) bade farewell to 2012 on New Year’s Eve with a massive ‘Development Rally’ that undoubtedly infused in them a sense of much hope, politically.
Throng of thousands of people attended the public meeting, the first addressed by the President in the district, believed to be opposition Unit4ed Democratic Front (UDF) stronghold, since she ascended to power in April 2012.
Speaking at Nanyumbu Primary School in Senior Chief Kawinga’s area in the district where the rally took place, President Banda said she graduated into understanding and responding speedily to people’s needs way before she became the Head of State and reiterated that she will not rest until lives of poor Malawians improve for the better.
Reacting to calls from some quarters that she “minimizes” local travel, President Banda said Malawians have suffered for a long time and as Head of State and a “servant of the people” she will go elsewhere to meet people and appreciate the level of poverty and suffering to meaningfully respond to the same.
“It is time we improved people’s living conditions for the better. The PP administration under my leadership will not sit back and see people die of hunger; we shall improve the health, education and agriculture sectors. We want to ensure that households have incomes,” said President Banda.
“I am employed by you people, there is no way I can sit at State House while the people, my employers, were suffering; I have grown up in the village and I know what it means when people cannot afford food,” she said.
She encouraged people of Machinga to grow crops such as groundnuts, soya, sunflower, rice and cassava, among others, for both food and economic purposes. She said she would ensure that there are ready markets for the produce.
“We will now have to aggressively grow these crops twice a year if we are to permanently deal with the problem of perennial hunger in this country,” said the Malawi leader.
She also urged on traditional leaders to support her efforts ensuring safe motherhood and maternal health for all expectant women, saying current statistics on maternal deaths were not acceptable.
She said God had blessed Malawi in 2012 and is hopeful that 2013 will be a good year. She said in the short time she has been President, she had succeeded in restoring good relations with neighbouring countries, donor countries and development partners, which had gone sour during the late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s time.
President Banda pledged continued dedication and support to the people of Machinga in particular and Malawi in general in the New Year and beyond.
She encouraged the people to give her administration “total support” as they implement economic recovery policies.
Banda said Malawi is on a journey; a journey to change its trajectory; and a journey to make real change happen.
“Malawi is ready to take its turn to grow. To grow not just the wealth, but the opportunities, hope and freedoms for all the Malawian people,” President Banda said.
Chief Mlomba who spoke on behalf of Senior Chief Kawinga, who was reportedly sick, said the President was welcome in Machinga as was evidenced by the multitudes at the rally.
Banda elevated Chief Liwonde to Senior Chief, attributing her decision to the Chief’s dedication and hard work in national development. He joins senior Chiefs Kawinga and Bwana Nyambi.
After the rally, the President visited the sick Senior Chief Kawinga at his house to cheer him. She pledged to do “whatever it takes” to ensure his quick recovery. He was reportedly suffering from Hypertension.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :