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Lazarus Chakwera Warns Malawians Against Idolizing Presidents

By George Pemba

We are not gods- Chakwera

Lilongwe, May 14, Mana: Malawi President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has cautioned the citizenry against treating leaders as the sole providers for all their needs.

He was speaking Friday when he led the nation in celebrating the life of first Malawi President, Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda at a ceremony that was held at the Kamuzu Mausoleum in Lilongwe.

The theme of the commemoration was Building Malawi on Solid Foundation that Spurs Properity for All.

“It’s unfortunate that as citizenry, we tend to regard our leaders as semi-gods expecting them to answer each and every problem of ours. That is wrong because you end up making them dictators,” said Chakwera adding that he doesn’t want to be lured into turning a dictator.

He further deplored the tendency of claiming ownership of the president saying when one becomes president he is President for everyone.

“Let us not give too much powers to an individual as we end up fearing that person instead of obeying the law. Let’s make the law to be our guiding principle if we want to make peace with everyone,” said the President.

Chakwera commended Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda for being selfless and visionary in his leadership style which he said enabled him to provide various social amenities for the people of Malawi.

“There is need for us to use presidential powers for the right purpose like Kamuzu did. He used his powers to provide hospitals for his people like the Kamuzu Central Hospital, better points of entry into the country like the Kamuzu International Airport, potable water by constructing the Malingunde dam and constructing durable roads not like the ones we see today,” explained Chakwera.

During offerings at the function President Chakwera donated K2,500,000 which formed part of the money that was given to the Kamuzu family to assist them settle other expenses.

Speaking on behalf of Kamuzu family Ken Kandodo commended late President Bingu wa Mutharika for constructing the Kamuzu Mausleum.

He however, requested the Tonse government to complete other phases of the Mausoleum which include a library, a museum, washrooms and a fence.

“This Mausoleum belongs to government. I therefore would like to request you, your excellency, to construct, at your convenience, the other phases of the Mausoleum that are remaining so that when visitors come they should be able to read more about Kamuzu through documented information and be able to access structures of public convenience around,” said Kandodo.

Responding to Kandodo’s request, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Michael Bizwick Ussi said Government was already working on erecting the facilities Kandodo had requested.

Usi described Kamuzu as being patriotic for leaving all his worthy in England and Ghana to take part in liberating his country.

Kamuzu who was born at Mphonongo village in Kasungu ruled the country for 31 years under the Malawi Congress Party’s one party system and was succeeded by Bakili Muluzi at the onset of the multiparty era.

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