Malawi’s First Lady Madame Monica Chakwera says older persons and mothers in particular, are an important resource to the social and economic development of the world and this country in particular.
Speaking at Mother’s Day Celebrations at Kamwendo in Mchinji on Friday where she donated various items to 145 older women and widows, Madame Chakwera said mothers work so hard to have their children go to school so that they become productive citizens in future.
Madame Chakwera however expressed worry that although women and older persons in general are infested with a lot of wisdom that can be used for the success of our nation, they are seldom forgotten and sometimes ignored.
“Dear Mothers, today through this celebration, feel it in your heart that we are acknowledging the role and significance of all of you and what you do in our communities. We honor and respect the good works that you have done and continue to do.
“To our elderly; thank you for being the custodians of our history, family traditions and our culture. Thank you for tirelessly passing on wisdom to us, your children. As a nation we are proud of having you as our pillars who have built families and nurtured,” said the first lady.
The first lady then deplored the practice of discrimination against the elderly in the country.
“While being able to reach old age is something to be thankful for, there are several challenges our elderly face in our communities. As children and grandchildren, we have an honourable and more important role of ensuring that life is easier for them.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda reiterated that no older person with expired National Identity Card should be denied an opportunity to partake in the Affordable Input Program (AIP).
“The president emphasized during AIP launch that women and older persons must be the main beneficiaries of the program,” she said.
Director of Association of Older Persons Andrew Kavala said the gesture by the first lady shows that the welfare of women and older persons are also a priority.
“We therefore would like to ask people and organizations to emulate the good example set by the first lady,” said Kavala
Kavala decried the tendency by medical health service providers for excluding older person to access medical cover facilities.
“Medical insurance companies do not allow people above 60 years to access medical cover schemes. People should not be discriminated to access medical services based on their age,” he said.
He bemoaned the practice of associating elder citizens with witchcraft. According to Kavala in the year 2020 alone, 26 older persons were mercilessly killed due to the belief.
“There is a need for political will so that perpetrators of these acts are brought to book because older persons are living in fear,” he said.
Malawi Widows Association Trustee Andrina Mchiela said her association will soon implement a Paralegal Training Program which is aimed at empowering women to know their rights.
“We hope that through this program, women will be able to know their rights to make informed choices,” said Mchiela.
Mchinji Central Constituency Member of Parliament Jephter Mwale thanked the Chakwera administration for putting its grip on the AIP in the midst of forces trying to stop the program.
“People realised bumper harvest last season because of AIP and we hope to benefit more during the forthcoming farming season,” Mwale said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :