By Deogratias Mmana:
President Lazarus Chakwera has asked Malawians to be patient as his administration works on solutions to current challenges.
Speaking Tuesday at a press briefing held at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe the President said the government was doing its best to improve their wellbeing.
He said this after he returned to Malawi from his tour of duty in Kenya, the United Arab Emirates and Scotland.
The Malawi leader said, when he assumed power in 2020, he pointed at sacrifices that Malawians would have to make to nurse the failing economy back to health.
He said the country was going through a national surgery because the government was struggling to raise funds for paying off a crippling debt inherited from the previous administration, for financing the gradual restoration of the public service; for climate change adaptation and financing agricultural industrialisation and infrastructural projects and recovery of the private sector from the ravages of the Covid pandemic.
“The cost of doing these things is heavy and there is no household in Malawi that is not bearing some of that weight. This is the painful truth. I must tell you the way things are and not feed you lies,” Chakwera said.
“The sacrifice you are all paying is the fertiliser that the soil of our economy needs, and the investments and trade that this administration is working hard to bring into our economy [is] the seed we are sowing for a future harvest,” he added.
Chakwera assured Malawians that his government “will leave no stone unturned to bring back trade and investment into this economy so that the sacrifices you are making will one day pay dividends”.
“I am therefore grateful for the patience and patriotism with which you are playing your part to see this difficult task done,” he said.
However, Chakwera failed to explain why his administration was failing to recruit teachers it had trained, saying the Minister of Education was better placed to give details.
He also said he assented to the Labour Relations Amendment Bill because it did not contradict constitutional provisions.
On the chaos happening at the National Oil Company of Malawi, Chakwera said he did not have details about the situation, indicating that he needed such information.
Meanwhile, Centre for Research and Consultancy Director Milward Tobias has faulted Chakwera for asking people to be patient when his government is offering no clear direction.
“A call for patience needs to be supported by a clear direction of what is being done and by when people should expect results. That way, calling for patience makes sense,” Tobias said.