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WELCOME BACK —Vice-President Saulos Chilima (left) welcomes Chakwera

President Lazarus Chakwera Thursday said the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) will strive to make sure that it responds to people’s needs and aspirations.

Chakwera made the remarks on his return from Zimbabwe where he visited President Emmerson Mnangagwa as part of his regional tour since he ascended to power in June this year.

His remarks come after civil society groups in the country expressed dismay with human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

“We covered everything but you know that this is a process. I am a new kid on the block and I am learning and I am doing solidarity tours in order for me to know what is going on with our neighbours.

“Even though we do talk about things of this nature we have places where we will take them to. We have a very good understanding of how we need to proceed,” Chakwera said.

Youth and Society and Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation asked Chakwera to engage with his Zimbabwean counterpart to stop the alleged attack on human rights advocates and respect human rights.

The Malawi President stressed the need to make the Sadc region stronger centring on human development and prosperity and ensuring that there is security and stronger relationships among people of all countries.

Chakwera, who returned home through Kamuzu International Airport in the afternoon, also underscored the importance of trade integration in the region, saying Malawi and Zimbabwe need to take trade relations to greater heights.

According to a pro-government newspaper, The Herald, while in Zimbabwe, Chakwera visited Malawian citizens resident in that country where he encouraged them to play their part to deepen cultural and economic ties between the two countries.

Addressing citizens yesterday morning at the Malawian embassy, he urged them to be law abiding citizens, saying they were free to have dual citizenship.

“Malawi has since passed legislation enabling those who live abroad to choose to have dual citizenship should they desire. So, as this country welcomes you to be Zimbabweans, you can also continue to be Malawians because we have legislation allowing you to do so,” Chakwera said.

After visiting Zambia and Zimbabwe, Chakwera and his wife Monica, are expected to make diplomatic visits to Tanzania and Mozambique.

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