Kamuzu retains Petra presidency at convention: Says Malawi must attain economic independence

People’s Transformation Party (Petra) Kamuzu Chibambo says his party is this year moving in full swing to fight what he calls long time disease known as ‘donor aid dependency’ which Malawi has been suffering for the past 50 years since it was decolonised by the British.

Briefing reporters after his victory as the party’s president during the convention held at MPC conference hall in the commercial Blantyre on Saturday, Chibambo said for the past 50 years Malawians have been living miserable life because of lack of vision for their leaders.

He said the leaders have always been depending on donor money to run the affairs of the country.

Chibambo talking to journalist after his victory as the party's president.
Chibambo talking to journalist after his victory as the party’s president.

“For the past 50 years we have been carried on the backs of western nations through donor aid. In Petra now we are saying we are sick and tired of this donor aid.  We thank them for helping us up until this time but now we are declaring war on dependency on donor aid,” he said.

Chibambo said as the country celebrates the jubilee this year, t this is right time for Malawi put to rest the donor dependency syndrome “and we know exactly how to do it. It’s not that we are going to borrow ideas from elsewhere, we know exactly how we are going to achieve it and to us there is no relenting in this fight.”

He says it is unfortunate that Malawians pride themselves as free people while the country get most of its assistant through aid from other countries.

“Let’s ask ourselves ladies and gentlemen are we really free? When people are going hungry can we say we are free? When hospitals don’t have drugs can we say our people are free? When our people are dying of treatable diseases can we say our people are free? Up to this day school pupils are learning under trees can we say we are really free? When our young people cannot find decent jobs in Malawi can we say our people are really free? So we can see that what we call freedom in this country is not freedom at all, it’s fake,” he said.

According to Chirambo one cannot talk about freedom without economic independence and economic security because he says the two work hand in hand.

“And as Petra we are saying this jubilee which is starting this year, we will relentlessly drive this agenda, until Malawi attain economic freedom and economic independence and as far as I am concerned, we will settle for nothing less ladies and gentlemen.”

However, Chibambo who during elections beat his opponent Heyster Chindzakazi by 116 votes to 26 was noncommittal on whether the party will field its presidential candidate during the May polls or go into coalition with other parties.

“When we look at ourselves in this country today there are about 50 political parties, and the questions we want to ask ourselves is do we want to see 50 names on the ballot paper vying for presidential post? So as a party will be asking our delegates if they are giving the executive committee the mandate to go into coalition.

“So we are living all options open here because we want to do things which are meaningful and credible. We don’t want to participate in elections like it’s an academic exercise.”

Other people elected included Abraham Chiwela who was elected as the National Organizing Secretary. Directors of youth are Felix Msukumwa (Central) and Gladys Mbebuwa (south). Campaign director is Bruno Zande who went unopposed. Director of international relations is Chauncy Mopho Jere ( Based in Nottingham, UK), and Secretary General is Stephen Kamwendo.

Delegates to the PETRA convention
Delegates to the PETRA convention
Chibambo sitting between his wife and other party officails
Chibambo sitting between his wife and other party officails
Hendreson Chiwela addressing the delegates.
Hendreson Chiwela addressing the delegates.

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