On the first page of the year 2021, hope is the word that most Malawians in the Northern Region share on the script, having ushered in the New Year in style.
In the city of Mzuzu, there was not much hype in the early hours of December 31 as has been the case in previous years. Most shops were operating as usual, except for the absence of noise and excitement that accompanies the festive season.
The mood soon transformed when darkness set in, as people started thronging leisure centres such as Queens Club, Club 31, Mzuzu Tourist Lodge, Paris Night Club among others where a variety of activities, including performances from music artists, were on offer.
Augustine Harawa, a resident of Mzuzu, was among the merry makers and as he reflected on the year gone by, he expressed hope that cases of abuse against women and girls will drastically go down this year.
He said government must act swiftly in dealing with the problem.
“I also feel this is a year that we have to find a solution on issues surrounding mental health. So many people have died in 2020, suicide cases were on the rise. We really need awareness on these issues. Apart from that we have hope that the current regime will deal with corruption decisively. Malawi has been dragged to its knees because of this pandemic. It’s time corruption was eradicated in the country,” he said.
Another resident, Felix Nyirenda, said he expects the Tonse Alliance government to fulfil its campaign promises such as those on job creation.
“I am expecting the two gentlemen President [Lazarus] Chakwera and Vice President [Saulos] Chilima to walk the talk. We have struggled for so many years as youth in the country. We need employment. The good thing is that they promised to create jobs, that is all we need,” he said
Commenting further on 2021 expectations, Rodrick Kavalo appealed to government to support the citizenry to recover from loses brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In churches such as Assemblies of God, Viyere CCAP and St Augustine Catholic Church where members held crossover prayers, congregants prayed for good rains, end of Covid-19 pandemic, good governance among others.