President Lazarus Chakwera on Saturday paid a befitting homage to war veterans during the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Thanksgiving Fundraising Golf tournament for the welfare of soldiers.
The President said the tournament played at the Lilongwe Golf Club was a token of appreciation to “our ex-servicemen and women for choosing the discipline war to achieve our desire for peace”.
Chakwera: They kept watch over us
Said Chakwera: “There is no better model of discipline in our entire governance framework than the MDF. Those who have once served in this institution and gone into retirement deserve our thanks for all the nights they kept watch over us while we slept or put themselves in harm’s way so that we can be free. The best way for to show our thanks for their acts of valour is to care of them.”
He thanked sponsors and golfers for their contributions towards the welfare of the veterans.
Major General Chikunkha Soko, who represented MDF Commander General Paul Valentino Phiri, said due to old age, veterans are experiencing a lot of challenges and need support.
He said: “We need to honour these soldiers who contributed towards the security of this nation. They are now ageing and facing challenges that are impacting their physical, emotional and social well-being making it difficult to perform daily activities and maintain their independence.
“Their sacrifice, courage and dedication have ensured the safety and freedom that we enjoy today. It is because of their unwavering commitment that we can live in a nation that values liberty and justice. Through this golf tournament, we have raised funds to help them in their time of need.”
NBS Bank plc was the main sponsor with a K40 million contribution.
The bank’s chief executive officer Kwanele Ngwenya also commended the veterans.
He said as a bank, they have a good relationship with MDF that dates back many years.
Said Ngwenya: “It’s been five years of sponsoring this event and will continue to do so. To mark this milestone anniversary, it was fitting that we go big. Our sponsorship towards organising this event was K40 million and we have contributed K30 million towards the welfare of the veterans. We also donated nine wheelchairs to help those soldiers having mobility challenges through our parent company Nico Holdings Group.”
On the golf course, coincidentally the MDF enlisted soldiers, private Richard Mbeza and private Alick Dzonzi under MDF team 7, emerged champions out of 52 teams that took part. The champions had 49 points.
The two received trophies and K350 000 each from NBS Bank, Msilikali Sacco Team Two of Muhammad Tayub and Abba Jussab were second with 48 points and got K250 000 each. NBS two team, comprising Vizenge Kumwenda and Ngwenya settled for third with 47 points. They received K150 000 each, but the two channelled the money back to the War Veterans Fund.