President Peter Mutharika is a man of development, a statesman—and this is no news.
Many other people have already said it in the past. And so, in agreement, I will, largely, only harp on the same string.
In his five-year reign, the President has done a lot for this country.
He has built many roads both in rural and urban areas across the country.
He has also connected over 330 trading centres to the national grid through Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (Marep), lighting up the mood of the people in those communities.
He has also implemented the Green Belt Initiative and Salima is now producing sugar.
Mutharika has also built many technical colleges and expanded university campuses.
The list of projects his administration has started and completed is too long.
Speaking when he commissioned the New Kamuzu Barrage at Liwonde on February 18, he said: “In five more years, Malawi will be a beautiful country, connected with nice roads everywhere”.
Surely, the beauty and benefits nice roads bring cannot be overstressed.
On the economic front, the President has brought down inflation from around 30 percent to a single digit. His administration has also halved interest from about 45 percent. The exchange rate has also stabilised and government has introduced social cash transfer programmes to uplift the poor.
In New African Magazine of June 2018, International Monetary Fund deputy managing director Tao Zhang writes: “Malawi has shown progress in achieving macro-economic stabilisation following two years of drought, with a rebound in growth and inflation reduced….The authorities are making efforts to reduce poverty”.
In 2014, I attended the opening of Parliament. As legislators on the Government side chanted Boma! Boma! Boma! on his arrival in the House, I looked down briefly, with tears in my eyes, imagining the great responsibility addressing numerous socio-economic problems the country was facing would entail.
That time, I understood the meaning of ‘so help me God’ Mutharika during his swearing-in ceremony at the High Court in Blantyre.
Four and a half years later, however, it is amazing to see what he has achieved in a short time—mostly without donor support. This phenomenal success is proof of prudence in the management and use of resources.
The President has also demonstrated great statesmanship by preaching love and living a life of tolerance.
During his rallies, he usually advises Malawians to love one another regardless of tribal, political and religious differences. Tolerance is important not only to avoid social conflict but also for national development.
On another front, APM is not only a gentleman, he is kind-hearted and slow to anger.
Some people disguised as human rights have crossed the boundaries and gone into sheer impudence. They have insulted and provoked the President, but he has hardly reacted.
This, to me, also demonstrates maturity of character.
Some firebrand politician, speaking on Times Television’s Tchutchutchu chat show in January, said: “Mutharika is the most tolerant President Malawi has ever had.”
Indisputably, his consciousness for development, statesmanship, and maturity of character strengthens his qualities as the father of the nation.
When it comes to development projects, I like the speech the President made during the John Chilembwe Day commemoration in Chiradzulu on January15.
“In the next five years, Malawi will never be the same,” he said. “As a country, we have begun the journey from poverty to prosperity. And the choice is yours, whether to continue or not. But as for me, there is no going back.”