President Lazarus Chakwera has praised the South African Government for the help it rendered to Malawians returning home from the Rainbow Nation due to Covid-19 in the past six months.
Speaking in his 17th weekly radio address on Saturday, the President said the South African authorities have ensured that Malawians get a safe and swift passage in their quest to return home until the wave of infections subsides there.
He said: “This is something the South Africans have done at great cost to themselves, including the loss of revenue they have suffered from letting go of the labour of Malawian workers returning home.
“In my discussions with President [Cyril] Ramaphosa, I made sure to thank him for this, for it is no small thing to remember the plight of others at a time when you are experiencing great suffering yourself.”
Chakwera said Malawians should remember that the country’s situation with the pandemic is unique, with very low infection, hospitalisation and death rates.
“We should thank God everyday for this and pray that it continues until there is no trace of the pandemic within our borders.
“But that means we also need to continue doing our part by observing the three guidelines from our health experts, which have so far proven to be effective at saving lives: Watch your distance, wash your hands, and wear your mask,” he said.
Chakwera visited South Africa on Thursday to hold bilateral talks with Ramaphosa.
He was accompanied by various ministers, including Eisenhower Mkaka of Foreign Affairs; Patricia Kaliati of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare; Richard Chimwendo Banda of Homeland Security; Khumbize Chiponda of Health; Sosten Gwengwe of Trade; and Ken Kandodo of Labour.
A statement issued by the South African Foreign Affairs Ministry indicated that Chakwera’s visit would “strengthen and deepen relations between the two countries” with the two Presidents discussing matters of “mutual interest”.
Malawi is the incoming chairperson of Southern African Development Ccommunity (Sadc) while South Africa –Malawi’s biggest trading partner—is the incoming chair of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.