Chakwera dares critics

Chakwera dares critics

President Lazarus Chakwera yesterday took advantage of Kamuzu Day celebrations to declare that he will contest as presidential candidate in the September 16 2025 General Elections, saying the Tonse Alliance administration is here to stay.

The President, who had previously publicly kept mum on endorsements by some members of his Malawi Congress Party (MCP), including a central executive committee resolution, said Malawians should be cautious because those purporting that he will lose were only bent at stealing from them.

In his address at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, he said: “In October next year, I will be continuing with development projects which my administration has been implementing.”

Chakwera cheers his supporters on arrival
at the commemoration

The President’s sentiments appeared to be a direct response to former president Peter Mutharika’s declaration at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre on Sunday that the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will triumph in next year’s elections.

Turning to his colleagues in the Tonse Alliance, Chakwera urged them to avoid dimming the light that was kindled following the multiple-party alliance’s victory in the court-sanctioned fresh presidential election held on June 23 2020.

He said: “All of us who started together the work of building a new Malawi should not allow to be divided. We don’t have time to fight for positions because what Malawians need is food and development.”

The President said Kamuzu, the country’s founding president, initiated development projects across the country and said this is important because it unites the country.

Chakwera’s public declaration of his candidacy also comes against the background of Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who heads the UTM Party, earlier indicating that the Tonse Alliance presidential ticket would rotate between the two and that in 2025 it would be Chilima’s turn.

However, Chilima, who was in attendance at the celebrations yesterday, looked unmoved by the President’s declaration.

MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka last year stated he was not aware of such agreement and that Chakwera was going to be their party’s torchbearer in 2025 polls.

During yesterday’s celebrations, other speakers said Chakwera was walking in Kamuzu’s footsteps by implementing various development projects.

Minister of Local Government, Unity and Culture Richard Chimwendo Banda said the Chakwera administration is improving the education sector, promoting agriculture and constructing health posts, among other developments.

“This is why people want Chakwera to continue leading Malawi until 2030,” he said.

Mkaka, on the other hand, mentioned the planned resumption of train services between Blantyre and Lilongwe and construction of quality infrastructure as some of the indications that Chakwera is continuing with Kamuzu’s vision.

Speaking on behalf of Kamuzu’s family, former Cabinet minister Ken Kandodo said the family is proud of his service to the country when he was president between 1964 and 1994.

He said the civil service Kamuzu created was top class and the infrastructure projects built during Kamuzu’s regime were solid and properly thought out.

Kamuzu, Malawi’s founding president, died on November 25 1997 and his family has been holding Kamuzu Day events since 1998.

This year’s celebrations, held under the theme ‘Kamuzu: The legacy of patriotism, integrity and hardwork’, were held in Blantyre for the first time since Kamuzu’s death. The government said the celebrations will now be held on rotation basis across the three regions.

Previously, the commemoration was either held at Kamuzu’s Mausoleum at City Centre in Lilongwe or his home district in Kasungu.

Activities at the event included an interdenominational service of worship, traditional dances, performances by Piksy and Black Missionaries Band and a football match between Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Silver Strikers.

The post Chakwera dares critics first appeared on Nation Online.

The post Chakwera dares critics appeared first on Nation Online.