President Arthur Peter Mutharika Friday paid tribute to former Malawi leaders, saying the country is on the right path of development because the previous governments laid foundation through the specific roles they played.
Mutharika was speaking in Mzuzu during the 54th Independence Celebration’s at Mzuzu Stadium that were characterized by military displays, traditional dances and a football match.
“We are making progress worth celebrating and we need to pay tribute to the past leaders.
“Kamuzu Banda was the father and founder of this nation. Bakili Muluzi led us into democracy and late Bingu [wa Mutharika], through the DPP [Democratic Peoples’ Party], had set Malawi on the real path of development,” Mutharika said.
Mutharika also praised other prominent figures such as late Chakufwa Chihana whom he said was one of the pioneers of the fight against Banda’s dictatorship during Malawi Congress Party (MCP) rule.
The President urged Malawians to learn to sacrifice for the country as was the case with other freedom fighters such as late Orton Chirwa, and late Masauko Chipembere.
Mutharika said it is time for Malawians to celebrate the rising again of social economic development saying Malawi is moving in the right path.
He said in 2004, life expectancy was at 37 years but increased to 62 in 2017.
Mutharika added that Malawians are able to import an average of 500 cars in a month and that filling stations are everywhere across the country.
His said his government will continue with various developments for the wellbeing of Malawians.
The celebration’s main organising committee chairperson, Minister of Agriculture and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha commended the President for sparing time to celebrate the day with Malawians.
Notable faces at the function were Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, former Vice-President Khumbo Kachali and First Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje and cabinet ministers.
Conspicuously missing were Vice-President Saulos Chilima and Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera.
Among other activities, the event was marked by a military parade by Malawi Defense Forces, displays by Malawi Police Service, traditional dances and a football match between Moyale Barracks and Be Forward Wanderers.
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