Malawi needs decolonization from poverty- President Banda

Malawi President Joyce Banda has challenged all Malawians to become actors in the unfolding effort of eradicating the “painful” legacy of poverty and economic stagnation, saying the attainment of the country’s independence 49 years ago will still be meaningless if millions of Malawians live under the scourge of poverty.

Speaking on Friday during a National Service of Worship in Lilongwe on the eve of Malawi’s Independence Day, Banda said Malawians must act with urgency to give meaning to the country’s liberation by freeing the majority from the “colonization of impoverishment.”

“Today, in this moment, we must declare that we are fed up, we are tired, of our social economic struggles, and like we did before, we have to join hands and fight to cease to be a colony of poverty,” said President Banda.

She added: “We are called upon to consolidate our hard-won freedom so that we realise our vision of attaining a better life for all. We still have too many people who are poor. There are also other problems we must confront as they impact negatively on the standard of living of the people.”

President Banda and the First Gentleman at the National Prayers
President Banda and the First Gentleman at the National Prayers

Banda hailed leaders of opposition parties for responding to her invitation to a meeting, which she held with them at Kamuzu Palace in the Malawian capital on Thursday, July 4.

“This vindicates the expectation of our people that working together across the divide of politics for the good our nation is possible,” she said.

Celebrating the achievements of her administration, and thanking everyone who formed the equation to make the difference, President Banda acknowledged that, regardless of the progress made, many Malawians are suffering and “every one of us must be concerned and do something in their aid.”

“We are, therefore, called upon to unite to speed up the process of change in order to realize the common dream of ensuring that all Malawians enjoy a better life,” she advised.

She said under her administration the country has witnessed many gains on many fronts “as we continued to work for the consolidation of a united, just and democratic society, marked by economic recovery and eradication of poverty.”

She added: “I would like to thank everybody in our country, whether in government, in the opposition, civil society, business and patriotic individuals for the work they have done, and I expect them to continue to do, to ensure that our country becomes the success we all want it to be.”

She said she was encouraged by the resuscitation of friendships across the continent and overseas, which has enabled Malawi to increase its capacity to meet its international responsibilities to the Continent and the rest of the world.

“Under my administration, government with the support of everyone including members of cabinet, our civil servants, all Malawians regardless of their social standing and our development partners continued to work towards eliminating poverty and socio-economic inequalities in our society,” she observed.

“We must use the foundations we have laid further to accelerate the access especially of the poor to adequate housing, accessible and affordable health care, critical basic services, education, water and sanitation, electricity and so on,” said the Malawi leader.

As she leads in this noble task, President Banda asked for support from everyone.

“I need your support,” she appealed, commending the clergy for keeping her spirits alive with the many biblical verses they send to her “everyday.”

During the prayers, themed “2013 Towards Peace, Prosperity and Breakthroughs”, the officiating clergy comprised Reverend Vasco Kachipapa, Moderator, Nkhoma Synod, Catholic Bishop Joseph Zuza of Mzuzu Diocese, Reverend Dr. Timothy Nyasulu, Moderator, Livingstonia Synod, Reverend Mercy Chilapula, Moderator, CCAP, Blantyre Synod, Bishop James Tengatenga, Anglican Dioceses of Southern Malawi, Pastor Fraxon Kuyama, Seventh Day Adventist Church of Malawi, Sheikh Dinala Chabulika, Muslim Association of Malawi and  Sheikh Twaha Saidi, Quadria Muslim Association of Malawi.

Others were  Reverend Dr. Osborne Joda-Mbewe, General Secretary, Anglican Council of Churches, Reverend Christopher Mwawa, General Secretary, Anglican Council of Churches, Bishop Gilford Matonga, Pentecostal Assemblies of Malawi, Reverend Francis Mkandawire, Evangelical Association of Malawi and Father Emmanuel Chimombo, Deputy Secretary General, Episcopal Conference of Malawi.

They were unanimous in preaching for unity amongst all Malawians regardless of differences in political, religious and other ideologies.

Also in attendance was Leader of Opposition in Parliament, John Tembo, Cecilia Kadzamira and Dr. George Chaponda of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), top Government officials, civil society gurus among others.

The officiating clergy
The officiating clergy
Part of the audience included Vice President Khumbo Kachali and cabinet ministers
Part of the audience included Vice President Khumbo Kachali and cabinet ministers
President Banda shakes hands with a Muslim preacher
President Banda shakes hands with a Muslim preacher
President Banda in hugs greetings
President Banda in hugs greetings

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