By Andrew Magombo
Lilongwe, November 7, Mana: President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has dared Malawians to make sacrifices for the country in the same spirit that war veterans showcased by putting their life on the line for a great cause during the time of war.
Clad in a full sports attire, President Chakwera, who is also the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander-in-Chief, said it is everyone’s civic duty to care for those who sacrificed their freedom for all Malawians.
He, therefore, asked the citizenry to enormously consider taking care of the elderly men in uniform not in the sense of charity but rather as thanksgiving for the role they played in various battles including the two World Wars.
He said: “Let us not call this a charity event because by definition that is a situation where the person you are giving a donation has nothing at all. A thanksgiving is a token of appreciation to those who put their life on the line for a greater cause.”
“I am challenging you all to go beyond participation and contributions. I dare you to make a sacrifice for our country once every year for any government institution so you can have a glimpse of what the veterans fought for.”
The First Citizen added that it was an immense pleasure to join the tournament in which he officially opened after symbolically teeing off a long shot earlier in the morning
President Chakwera also took some time out to thank golfers, the media, sponsors and all stakeholders who patronized for their respective roles in making the event possible going further to say all things are possible through collaborative approach.
By attending the annual fundraising event, the President who is also the Patron of the Veterans of the Service League of Malawi (VELOM) became the country’s first MDF’S Commander-in-Chief to patronize it.
Addressing the crowd shortly before Dr Chakwera rose to the podium, Vice President Saulos Chilima thanked the President for gracing the ceremony both in the morning and the afternoon.
The Vice President reiterated the call made by the First Citizen calling all Malawians and the corporate world to step up efforts in helping the war veterans.
In his remarks, Deputy Defence Force Commander Lieutenant General Valentino Phiri, hailed government interventions from time to time making sure that the veterans are well taken care of.
General Phiri also singled out Dr Chilima’s contribution to the cause saying ever since he started attending the event, there has been an increase in participation of the tournament as well as donations.
Apart from the golf tournament and its prize presentation, there was also an auction which was led by the Vice President.
During the auction, two separate return tickets went at K1.5 million each for trips of two people to Johannesburg and Nairobi respectively.
There was also an auction for a night for two at the newly built Sunbird Waterfront Hotel and it went at K750, 000.
The Malawi Defence Force Brass finished off the ceremony with a scintillating parade that symbolized the time when Soldiers lowered the flag upon the end of a day during the battle.