President Lazarus Chakwera has vowed to crack down on lawlessness he said crept into the country after it embraced democracy in 1994.
Chakwera said this yesterday when he presided over the Kamuzu Day Memorial Service in Lilongwe where Chief Justice Rezin Mzikamanda, Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara were among the dignitaries.
President Chakwera and the First Lady prepare to lay wreaths on the mausoleum
Chakwera said with lawlessness, the country cannot implement its development agenda.
He said: “Unfortunately, in 1994, we carried freedom in one hand and moved with speed into the future without carrying the law in the other hand.
“As a result, we have had 26 years of lawlessness in many sectors, lawlessness in agriculture, lawlessness in politics, lawlessness in elections and lawlessness in the media.
“Lawlessness in government institutions, lawlessness in non- governmental organisations, lawlessness in the embassies, lawlessness in the banks, lawlessness in land grabbing, and even lawlessness in law enforcement agencies and the legal fraternity itself.”
Usi: Fire people
Chakwera said he assented to 15 bills which seek to end lawlessness. The bills include the Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) Bill that defines roles of the NGO Board and Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi, apart from enhancing accountability in use of funds among NGOs.
He said: “Just two days ago, I signed 15 bills into law to make Malawi stronger [as they seek to] end the lawlessness that prevails in many sectors.”
The President, who leads Kamuzu-Banda’s Malawi Congress Party (MCP), stated that his intention to end lawlessness is not aimed at taking away freedoms from Malawians.
Kandodo: Malawians should unite
“There is no intention to take away anyone’s freedom. My intention is to end the culture of lawlessness that has prevailed in this country for over two decades,” he said.
Chakwera also pledged to refurbish former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s mausoleum.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi took a swipe at some government officials for derailing government projects.
He urged the President to fire such officers if the Tonse Alliance administration is to achieve its goals.
The event was commemorated under the theme Reflecting the Culture of Unity in Diversity and Contact and Dialogue for Nation Building.
On his part, former Speaker of Parliament Louis Chimango hailed Kamuzu Banda as a leader who was dedicated and always fought for Malawians by ensuring that they had access to quality social services.
“Kamuzu used to say his wish was not to earn praise from people, but to make sure that women and men can see a difference in their lives,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Kamuzu family, former Labour minister Ken Kandodo thanked government for taking over the organisation of commemorations of Kamuzu Day, which falls on 14 May, which is the fallen Malawi leader’s birthday.
He also called for national unity, which he said helped Banda to achieve many developments such as roads, schools, agriculture and other infrastructures.
While young, Banda left Kasungu, his home district and went overseas where he received much of his education in ethnography, linguistics, history and medicine.
Later, he returned home and joined the fight against colonialism and advocated for the country’s independence from the United Kingdom.
He was formally appointed Prime Minister of Nyasaland, and led the country to independence in 1964.
Two years later, he proclaimed Malawi a Republic with himself as the president, ruling for 31 years.
He was ousted through the 1994 multiparty elections.
He died in 1997.