Malawi President Joyce Banda has maintained her message to traditional leaders in the country to look forward to 2013 with renewed energy and focus on the nation’s prosperity.
President Banda was speaking at Chikoko Bay State Lodge, Monkey Bay in Mangochi on Sunday when she hosted a luncheon for 150 traditional chiefs from T/A Nankumba in Mangochi and others from Nsanje District to a luncheon at her official Chikoko Bay State House as part of the festive celebrations.
Speaking at the luncheon, legislator for Mangochi Monkey Bay, Ralph Jooma and Local Government Minister Grace Maseko thanked the Head of State for the “rare opportunity”.
Maseko commended the President for empowering chiefs in a number of programmes including the Safe Motherhood Initiative.
President Banda said traditional leaders are the effective vehicles for real development as they are at the grassroots and command respect from their subjects.
She said this evident from how immensely successful her Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood through the involvement of chiefs.
The President then said chiefs deserved much respect; she said she has grown up to respect chiefs as the custodians of the tradition and culture.
The President then said chiefs deserved much respect, saying she grew up as a Yao girl in Zomba where respect for chiefs was and is of greater essence as they are the custodians of the tradition and culture.
Recently, President Banda also hosted a luncheon for Yao chiefs from Mangochi, Machinga, Dedza, Blantyre, Zomba, Balaka, Chiradzulu, Mulanje and Salima.
She also commented on the suspension of chiefs Kilupula and Chimombo of Karonga and Nsanje respectively, saying government arrived at the decision following reports of abuse of office by the two traditional leaders.