6 July 2014

Malawi: 'We Have Made Progress'

Lilongwe — President Prof. Peter Mutharika on Sunday said Malawi had made progress over the 50 years and he called on all Malawians to unite to move the country forward.

Mutharika made the call at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe where he led tens of thousands Malawians and foreign dignitaries in commemorating the independence Golden Jubilee.

The Malawi leader said although many commentators observed that at 50 the country had achieved nothing substantial, he chose to differ and that he would like to look at a bottle with contents half to the capacity rather as "a half-full bottle" and not as "a half-empty bottle."

He observed that at independence in 1964, the country had only around 60 miles of tarmac road but now there is over 2,000 miles of tarmac road across the country.

Mutharika also observed that there was no single university in the country at independence and that the education system was not as vibrant as at present with over eleven universities.

"We have made progress right from independence in 1964 to republic in 1966 and to one party government in 1971 all the way to multiparty democracy in 1994," said Mutharika, with special tribute to the past leaders, namely Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda and Dr Bakili Muluzi.

He appealed to all Malawians to keep united as the country turned on the next 50 years and that it was the desire of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Government to see a more united and prosperous Malawi.

"I was elected as the President of all the people of Malawi regardless of what percentage of the vote I got," said Mutharika. "Let's unite to develop the country because we are all one; there are no Tumbukas, no Lhomwes, no Nyachusas and No Yawos or Senas."

The President also called on all Malawians, be it in civil service or in the private sector to work hard to contribute to the building of the country's economy which he said is one of the DPP government's agenda.

"DPP Government is determined to build the economy, but to achieve this, we must work together," said Mutharika. "You should not rely on government to do something for you but you must think of what you can do for your government."

He further said the DPP government was determined to get to the bottom of the plunder of public resources, dubbed Cash-gate, at Capital Hill and that his administration would investigate the issue institution by institution and ensure that no recurrence of the act happens in the future.

"We are also determined to ensure that all the people are happy and among other things, we will soon introduce a housing project for people in the rural areas whereby we will be subsidizing iron sheets and building materials for them to access better homes."

Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe, Mozambique Prime Minister, Alberto Vaquina and Tanzania Vice President, Muhammad Harib, the foreign leaders who graced the occasion while on the local scene, former President, Dr Bakili Muluzi, was among the delegates who were at the event.

Malawi turned independent from a 73-year- rule of the colonial British government on 6 July, 1964 and the country was 37th to gain independence in Africa.

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