President Arthur Peter Mutharika has warned all those stealing government drugs and sell to private markets that his government will mete out the harshest measures so as to ensure that ordinary people benefit fully from government services.
He was speaking at Masasa Primary School ground in Ntcheu where he presided over this year’s official launch of the National Forestry Week.
The Malawi leader justifiably diverted from the theme of the day following a request from Traditional Authority Masasa who had earlier asked for construction of health facilities in his area.
“What kind of people are you to be stealing drugs and selling them as far as South Africa, Tanzania and DRC among other places? Why do you harm your country in the name of mere money? We will dismiss you from work unlike in the past when you were just being transferred to another health unit. You will be sorry when we catch you,” said the visibly worried President Mutharika.
Only last month, a local paper reported that drugs worth K5 billion are stolen every year from government health facilities, a development that has affected health service delivery across the country.
Back to the theme of the day, President Mutharika called upon all Malawians to plant enough trees during this year’s national forestry week to kick-start a turn-around in nature conservation which will help the country mitigate or eradicate the effects of climate change.
This year’s tree planting season, whose theme is “Arrest deforestation, Plant trees and Conserve forests”, is expected to have 60 million trees planted across the country.
As a way of encouraging people to plant more trees, President Mutharika has ordered that Public Works Program should include tree planting so that communities earn money for planting trees.
In his remarks Natural Resources, Energy & Mining minister, Bright Msaka, asked every Malawian to plant at least 12 trees during this season.
This year’s tree planting season will officially run from January 18 to April 15.