President Peter Mutharika says it is high time Malawians stopped looking to government to address problems emanating from the effects of climate change while citizens take the role of spectators.
Mutharika was speaking at Kalambo Full Primary School in Lilongwe yesterday where he launched the 2016/17 National Forestry Season.
Government is planning to plant one billion trees this season alone; hence, the President emphasised the need for collaboration between government and the private sector in reforesting the country.
Said Mutharika: “As a nation, we made a choice that every year, we will collectively mobilise to plant trees. This is our national choice because we want to make Malawi green.
“Let us use the rains by planting trees everywhere. But it is not enough to plant trees – we must also take care of the trees we plant. That is why we have dedicated a whole season to plant and care for our trees.”
However, the event was not without drama. Throughout the whole function, Mutharika and his Vice Saulos Chilima did not share eye contact.
And when they were seated, the President shared lighter moments with Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka and other dignitaries while looking away from Chilima.
Additionally, leader of the opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Lazarus Chakwera and Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya were conspicuously missing although the programme indicated they would be among very important persons (VIP) to plant trees.
Chakwera only appeared later and sat some metres away from the podium where he was reportedly allocated a seat. n