President Lazarus Chakwera has warned Malawians that they should not push him to becoming a ‘ruler’, instead of one who serves them.
He said he does want Malawi to get to a point where for something to happen there must be some kind of dictatorship.
Chakwera said: “I want to serve you, and I will try my best to serve you. But it doesn’t need to get to a point where for something to happen, certain kind of dictatorship has to happen. If it happens that way, never curse my name.”
The President said this yesterday during Kamuzu Day memorial service at the Kamuzu Mausoleum in Lilongwe.
He said oftentimes it is the people that make tyrants out of leaders who cherish serving, instead of ruling.
“It’s the people who deliberately start that… like wanting that the President should respond to everything, including on where you shall draw water, how you will look after your children, your household, even what you want to wear. You people make Presidents stubborn. You even worship them as gods,” he said.
Chakwera said it is his desire to serve Malawians, and not become anything other than that: “As long as I am President, and God gives me breath, the powers of this [the Presidency] shall be used to serve you and never to rule you, so help me God.”
The President also urged unity among Malawians, saying Kamuzu preached unity in this country.
He went on to urge some Malawians to stop calling him ‘our own’ (wathu wathu), as he was leader for all Malawians.
Chakwera, who later said the words were off-the script of his Kamuzu Day speech, went on to praise Kamuzu for developing the country during his reign.
“It is possible to bring Malawi to its former glory, only that there is need for all Malawians to take full responsibility and play individual roles in order to achieve the grand picture of national development,” he said.
The memorial service was heavily patronised by government officials, including Vice-President Saulos Chilima, Kamuzu family representatives, former official hostess Mama Cecilia Kadzamira, the clergy and membership from CCAP Nkhoma and Blantyre synods—a church the founding president was an elder—and political party officials from the ruling alliance of Malawi Congress Party, People’s Party and UTM Party, among others.
Speaking on behalf of the Kamuzu family, Ken Kandodo asked government to consider constructing a library, a fence and washrooms for tourists who visit the Kamuzu Mausoleum.
“The construction of this mausoleum, which was done during the time of the late Bingu wa Mutharika, was only phase one. There was supposed to be phase two aimed at turning this place into a tourist and information centre with facilities such as a library, fence and other supporting infrastructure.
“As a family, we are appealing to government to consider financing this phase of the project,” he said
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Michael Usi said the mentioned facilities are on the ministry’s agenda,and will be considered soon.
Speaking on behalf of Nkhoma Synod, the Right Reverend Phillip Kambulire, hailed government for taking interest in this year’s Kamuzu Banda Memorial since for years the event was left to the family and the synod.