Malawi President Joyce Banda has hailed her critics for bravely challenging her ideas, but appealed for patience and understanding as her government works towards finding solutions to the economic problems facing the country.
In her first Christmas and New Year message as Head of State made available to Nation Online on Monday, the President thanked Malawians for trusting her with their future.
She said she is aware the nation is passing through challenging times, especially for the past three years which have been difficult socially, politically and economically.
Said Banda: “When I delivered the State of the Nation Address in May, I confessed that we have inherited a difficult economy and these problems will not be solved overnight.
“I asked and prayed for your patience, resilience, hard work and unity as important attributes for us to overcome the challenges that we are facing. In my Christmas message to you today, I pray for the same. I do so knowing very well that the challenges are still there.”
Banda ascended to the presidency on April 7 this year in line with constitutional order after the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika.
She said some of the challenges inherited such as international isolation, sour relations with neighbouring countries and the political anger and pain in the country were easier to deal with as they just needed Executive decisions.
However, the President said the other challenges such as the impact of aid suspension, shortages of fuel and foreign exchange and increasing levels of poverty are very complex issues requiring a lot of time to resolve.
She said in building a brighter future, her People’s Party (PP) administration has developed the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) to deal with challenges of political and economic governance by creating sustainable and progressive monetary and fiscal policies to stabilise the economy.
The President, who has of late been criticised for some of the decisions she made such as the devaluation and floating of the kwacha as well as the appointment of Vice-President Khumbo Kachali as overseer of the Electoral Commission—a decision she has since reversed after pressure, said she fully recognises the important role of opposition parties in and outside Parliament and civil society as well as the need to encourage public policy debate and accountability.
Banda encouraged Malawians to embrace the spirit of sharing during the festive season, saying Christmas is about love, giving and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
—Read JB’s first Christmas and New Year message as Head of State, click here: