President Peter Mutharika today led the nation in welcoming the Queen’s Baton on its 388-day journey to Gold Coast, Australia where the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held.
Addressing the gathering at Kamuzu International Airport, Mutharika said the Queen’s Baton was a reminder of the history of all the countries in the 71-member Commonwealth.
He said the baton’s relay also promotes unity among the countries in the grouping.
“The Queen’s Baton also reminds us about the Commonwealth Games ahead of us. It compels us to start serious preparations,” he said.
The President noted that while Malawi has been participating in the games for a long time, it has not been doing well. He therefore said the baton should be a reminder for Malawi to do a soul-searching why it has been performing poorly and improve its performance in the forthcoming games.
The baton started its journey in March from Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II who is also head of the Commonwealth.
It will cover a distance of over 200,000 kilometres in the relay, across the 71 countries.
Malawi is the 11th country in the baton’s relay.
Malawi will pass on the baton to Zambia on April 24th. It will reach Australia in December 2017, ahead of the start of the games on April 4, 2018.
The Baton carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II. The message will be read out at the opening of the games in April next year.