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‘We must long for change’

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Lazarus Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, has said Malawians should change their mindset and yearn for change if the country is to develop.

Speaking during the opening of a two-day national conference organised by the pressure group, Transformation Alliance (TA), in Blantyre Friday, Chakwera said Malawians should forsake thoughts that change rests in the hands of leaders as everybody has the power.

While calling for transformatory leadership, Chakwera highlighted the importance of revising programmes that are no longer benefiting the country, including the Farm Input Subsidy Programme.

“There is no reason Malawians should not be economically empowered. They should not only need, or wait for, government subsidy programmes to find farm inputs. We need to revisit the programme because it is no longer helping farmers and the country cannot develop,” Chakwera said.

Chakwera also called for leaders who are able to capture the needs of people.

“We need leaders who are marked by authenticity; this is not my fight but that of the younger ones,” Chakwera said.

The conference attracted delegates from political parties except the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, religious and traditional leaders.

Speakers at the conference included economist Henry Kachaje, who made a presentation on economic transformation, and Unandi Banda of National Elections Systems Trust, who made a presentation on 50+1 electoral reforms.

Making his keynote address, TA National Chairperson, Moses Kunkuyu, expressed sadness over rising cases of corruption, abuse of public funds, segregation and political witch-hunting in the country.

Kunkuyu cited Maizegate, Tractorgate, Cashgate, the recent sewage saga in Lilongwe, the use of funds from public institutions to fund ruling party operations and the use of chiefs and religious leaders to castigate those with opposing views as some of the indications that Malawi has taken a wrong direction.

“Malawi needs to have a changed mindset. Each one of us must strive to be an agent of change so that, together, we develop the nation,” Kunkuyu said.

Kunkuyu attributed these problems to lack of patriotism.

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