JB says will not stop visiting people: Installs Senior Chief Chikowi

President Joyce Banda has said she will not stop to travel around the country because it is through such visits that she is able to familiarize herself with the problems that the people are facing.

Speaking on Saturday when she installed Senior Chief Chikowi at Saint Martin’s Primary School Ground at Mayaka Trading Centre in Zomba, the Malawi leader said she cannot be effective without physically visiting and listening from the people themselves on the ground.

“It is an insult to the people when you criticize a President for travelling around to appreciate their problems and provide solutions to them,” said Banda. “But I will not listen to such criticism because the poor need my attention.”

The Malawi leader said it was unfortunate that most of the people who want her to stop visiting the people in need live in opulence and “shout out their criticisms from the comfort of their houses or coziness of their offices.”

President Banda installing chief Chikowi
President Banda installing chief Chikowi

“I will not stop to find out for myself what kind of problems they are facing. The enormity of poverty in Malawi is so severe I can’t afford just to sit in my office and rely on reports from officials,” she emphasized.

She advised the installed chief not to forget that she is, by virtue of her position, a helper of the government of the day and must, therefore, always act as a catalyst for socio-economic development agenda of the current administration.

“You must also lead your subjects with impartiality, generosity, modesty and selflessness. If you expect to be respected by your people, you need to start by respecting yourself,” she advised.

She also recommended to the Chikowi family to settle their chieftaincy differences in order for the chieftaincy to be able to fulfill its traditional and state obligations.

“You must always keep in mind that I am also a member of this family. Therefore, as much as possible, let’s make sure we don’t let ourselves down by perpetuating differences that should not arise in the first place,” she advised.

Speaking earlier, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Grace Maseko, commended the Malawi leader for not being discouraged by her detractors from touching base with her people.

“Your style of leadership where you physically visit your people and personally appreciate their problems distinguishes you from you predecessors as the kind of leader Malawi needs,” she said.

She also praised the Head of State for restoring the precedence of traditional leaders which had waned under previous administrations, saying the current Joyce Banda administration has ensured that chiefs must be partners in development not political tools like in the past.

“This is the reason this function has been attended by a very big number of traditional leaders. They have come to express their appreciation for the good things that your government has brought to them,” she said.

In his remarks Minister of Home Affairs, Uladi Mussa, advised the people to desist from living in denial and double-dealing, saying such deficiencies are inimical to progress.

“If we don’t accept the way things are, we will just be creating problems for ourselves. Accept that Joyce Banda is the President of this country and will remain as such until 2024. Accept also that we don’t move forward in reverse,” said Mussa.

Director of Research in the People’s Party, John Chikalimba, said the Joyce Banda administration deserves to continue beyond 2014 because it has many people-centred programmes it is yet to unveil.

JB speaks in Zomba
JB speaks in Zomba
Part of the crowd in Zomba
Part of the crowd in Zomba
Chief Chikowi gives Pres Banda gifts
Chief Chikowi gives Pres Banda gifts

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