President Lazarus Chakwera has disclosed that he has spoken to Rwanda President Paul Kagame and hopes to tap from his strategies to rebuild the nation and give it economic transformation.
In his media briefing statement, Chakwera said he spoke to Kagame "as part of my quest to forge strategic partnerships towards the strengthening of Capable Democratic Developmental States across the Great Rift Valley."
He said the aim is "to leverage the bounties of our natural and human resources for the shared prosperity of our peoples."
Kagame is revered for stopping Rwanda's genocide and engineering what admirers call an economic miracle.
In 2000, Kagame inherited a country that had been torn apart by genocide. But he has rebuilt the country to a stable, prosperous, unified and, in large part, reconciled.
Social services, such as education, healthcare, housing and livestock are provided to the needy, with no distinction of ethnicity or region of origin - two forms of discrimination that characterised the governments leading up to the genocide against the Tutsi, which Kagame, as leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), brought to an end.
But his critics see a despot who crushes all opposition and rules through fear
Chakwera, on his part is advancing a mantra of clearing the rubble that has put Malawi into ruins under the previous regime of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
He has set out the pillars and values of the Tonse Alliance philosophy through which they secured electoral victory together and by which he said they will lay the foundation of a new era of "shared economic liberation together."
Chakwera said together with his deputy Saulos Chilima, they are putting together a government team of transformational leaders to carry the work of "draining the swamp, clearing the rubble, overhauling the rotten systems of the state, and building new systems."
The Malawi leader has since highlighted the key deliverables so far that includes ordering a freeze on high risk government tenders and contracts being awarded without due diligence, pending a review of both the bidding process and the contents of the bids.
Chakwera said he has so far met diplomats of the governments of China, United States of America and Britain to begin discussions on the bilateral relations within the context his administration's policy prioritizing development, production, trade, and governance institutions over consumption and aid.
The President said the new government has also engaged heads of parastatals, heads of commercial banks, foreign investors, and captains of industry "to begin orienting them to the implications and opportunities of the Tonse economic policy of Prospering Together."
He said government has also commenced an audit of multiple nation-building projects that have long been frustrated by bureaucracy and corruption, such as the installation of an oxygen plant at Kamuzu Central Hospital to assist in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, which has been stuck in a warehouse since 2016 and led to the needless wastage of US$2 million on unsustainable bills under the previous administration of DPP.
Meanwhile, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured Chakwera of his support as he begins his tenure.
In a good will message delivered by Senator Gideon Moi, who joined a section of African dignitaries to witness Chakwera's inauguration in Lilongwe on Monday, President Kenyatta wished Chakwera success in delivering his promises and meeting the expectations of Malawians.
Chakwera won the presidential election re-run with 58.67 per cent of the vote, reversing the fortunes for former President Peter Mutharika. Mutharika's victory in the May 2019 election was overturned by the court.
The Kenyan President commended the government and people of Malawi for navigating the unprecedented exercise. In his message, he said Chakwera's victory is a clear testimony of the trust the people of Malawi have in his leadership and policies in his manifesto.
Uhuru expressed his confidence in Chakwera, saying he has no doubt that he will see Malawi soar higher regionally and globally.