Lazarus Chakwera hails Bakili Muluzi, Joyce Banda
Appeals for more support
President Lazarus Chakwera says former president Bakili Muluzi and Joyce Banda have agreed to become Malawi’s goodwill ambassadors in the wake of the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy.
The President said, in his evening address Thursday, that the two ex-presidents, who he met at Sanjika Palace earlier that day, accepted the responsibility.
He said he decided to hook up with the former presidents because of their international links
“I asked them to serve as goodwill ambassadors and I’ve asked them to reach out to their global contacts and appeal for more international support on behalf of the Malawian people.
“And I am grateful [to them] for graciously accepting to serve Malawi and I remain hopeful that former president Peter Mutharika will also consider taking up that role in this time when Malawians need us to stand together as one people,” he said.
However, former president Peter Mutharika, who is former governing Democratic Progressive Party leader, did not attend the meeting.
His spokesperson Shadric Namalomba said Mutharika did not find the meeting necessary.
“The former president indicated that he never saw any substance in this kind of meeting. He believed that this meeting was just a stunt, a show-off, and that it would not necessarily bring out anything tangible.
“If the idea was just to appeal to them to appeal to foreign people, it is exactly what the former president thought— that it would be a meeting without substance,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chakwera has appealed for more support to cyclone survivors, saying the situation remains dire.
He said, as of yesterday, the death toll was at 511, with 1,330 people reported injured.
Chakwera added that there are 533 people who are unaccounted for, with a further 563,771 displaced from their houses.