Joyce Banda refuses to be labelled ‘a failure’

Malawi President Joyce Banda Sunday refused to be labelled a failure in the short period she has been in office, saying she found the state in a mess and was doing everything in her powers to normalise things.

She was speaking to young people from the Southern Region, whom she hosted to a luncheon at the Sanjika Palace.

President Banda however, conceded that the country’s economy was still in tatters but was quick to quiz Malawians on where the country could have been by now if she had not taken some of the reforms that have brought back donor confidence and good international relations.

“This year’s farm input subsidy programme for example, is being supported by the British government, would it have been possible if things remained the way they were?

“In the 8 months of my office, US$800 million has been given to Malawi but it looks like nothing has been done because the previous government had left the coffers in very bad state,” Banda said in the vernacular.

Joyce Banda: Am not failure

She revealed to have consulted a former governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi whose identity she did not disclose who told her that there was no shortcut to the recovery of any economy.

The second female head of state in Africa added that the tendency by some leaders to give hand-outs had left many young people with no proper source of income but promised that her government would support and empower them through different initiatives.

The Malawi leader then advised the nation to take part in building the economy by among others, avoiding importing goods that could be locally made.

On a lighter note, she advised young couples to respect one another in their families, observing that it was only proper for men to avoid abusing their wives and that women needed to be submissive to their husbands.

Chairman of vendors in Blantyre, Thomas Banda (not related to the president) thanked the head of state for giving them the opportunity to interact and dine with her, claiming it was not the case in the past.

He asked government to intervene on the conditions for getting loans in the financial lending institutions, which he said were not favourable for most small entrepreneurs.

Banda  said observed that vendors were facing many challenges just like most sectors in Malawi and invited the president to visit the flea markets to appreciate what they were going through.

Taking his turn at the function, People’s Party National Youth Director, Louis Mpofu appealed to the president to consider re-introducing centers that used to provide technical skills to the youths during the era of late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

President Banda ascended to the highest office in April, this year following the death of late Professor Bingu wa Mutharika at a time when the country was characterized by an acute shortage of forex and fuel, a scenario which chocked both government and private sector operations. Currently, the President is engaged in a pursuit for sound economic reforms, among them the devaluation of the kwacha.

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