STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY PROF. ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI AT THE COMMEMMORATION OF THE 2016 INTERNATIONAL ALBINISM AWARENESS DAY KASUNGU, 13TH JUNE, 2016

Today is the International Albinism Awareness Day. The United Nations General Assembly set this day apart because the world has acknowledged that the rights of persons with albinism have been under threat in many parts of the world.
The purpose of the day is to reflect on the plight of persons with albinism. This day was dedicated to the world as an appeal to the general public, governments and civil society organizations to respect the rights of persons with albinism.
The world, today, remembers that we all have the moral obligation to raise awareness on albinism. Today, we renew our fight against the discrimination and stigma against persons with albinism.
As a world today, we are celebrating diversity, promoting inclusion and protecting the rights of people with albinism. We celebrate diversity because the beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people.
We promote inclusion because as long as we are all human, we are one. No matter how different we may look, we are one human race.
We protect the rights of people with albinism because we are all equal before God and the Law. We all deserve to be here. And we all deserve to live and to enjoy our rights.
Let us all remember: People with albinism are our parents, our children, relatives, friends and neighbours. Love them, as you love yourself. It could have been you! Anyone of us can bear a child with albinism.
My Dear Malawians
For us as a country, this commemoration could not come at a better time. This day has come just at the time when many innocent Malawians with albinism are being persecuted for being what they are.
This wicked violence, inhuman brutality and campaign of dehumanization is simply unacceptable.
Therefore, “Together, we must end human rights violations against persons with albinism”. And that is our national theme today.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Together, we have said “No” that anyone with albinism must be neglected and abandoned by their own family.
We say “No” to discrimination against any person with albinism.
We refuse to accept that persons with albinism must be denied their freedom to live, and enjoy their lives, their education, health care and social support.
Above all – above all, we say a big “NO” to brutal murders!
We say NO to this darkest evil of our times! This is our “big NO”, and this is our collective voice even against those parents and relatives who sell their children in the night privacy of their homes.
You have taken away enough lives of my people. You have taken away enough peace of our people with albinism. Now you will face the War of the Law!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have appointed a Special Prosecutor on Crimes against Persons with Albinism, because we want to prosecute these murderous criminals in courts that exact tough and merciless penalties. And the Chief Justice has directed that all cases to do with albinism will be prosecuted by professional magistrates. We will prosecute anyone harbouring or sharing murderous thoughts against albinism in a right court with the right powers to exact the right punishment.
This wave of terrorism against albinism has shown us that, for many years, our laws and justice system have been unjust to people with albinism. Now our legal preparation for our war on terrors against albinism is done.
For the last few months, we have been reviewing our laws to deal with this evil act of terrorizing persons with albinism decisively. And let the world know – that we are a law abiding democracy. That we can only legally fight even the darkest evil when we have the right laws!
Now, our Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs will soon table in Parliament the right Law for a just War! Parliament is already sitting. And the infantry of our law makers are on the ground ready to advance our just cause for people with albinism. And, together, we will end human rights violations against persons with albinism.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We now have a comprehensive national response plan in place. We have more measures planned for the welfare, the security and the protection of persons with albinism. I want to urge you all, and every Malawian to take a part in this just cause. Let us all be part of the solution.
While others want to take credit by igniting a crusade of sensationalizing our problem, I am immensely thankful of the many local and international persons and organizations who have been part of our solution.
I want to thank the United Nations Human Rights office for your support in our fight. Thanks to you the Malawi Human Rights Commission for your participation in the Technical Committee I formed. Thanks to the Citizen’s Alliance representing a number of civil society organizations in Malawi. Thanks to the Association of Persons with Albinism, and the Association of Traditional Healers. Thanks to the UN family, especially UNDP, UNICEF and UN Women for your support. You all chose to solve this problem with us, and not to condemn the problem. Much more work lies ahead us, but together, we will end these human rights violations, just as other countries have done.
I want to commend our Police for their aggressive surveillance and arresting these primitive thinking perpetrators across the country.
I want to thank my Ministries and local Non-Governmental Organisations for your commendable search for the solution.
But I also want to thank our local media. You have been understanding the complexity of the situation we are dealing with. Now help us to focus on a new media agenda – that we will not get out of poverty by dehumanizing each other, but with patriotism, integrity and hardwork.
Together, we will survive these unfortunate times. And we, not our murderers, we will be the survivors!
On that note, I wish all Persons with Albinism and indeed all Malawians all the best as we commemorate this important day.
MAY GOD BLESS OUR MALAWI
THANK YOU

APM SPEECH AT THE LAUNCH OF BUY MALAWIAN STRATEGY

• The Minister of Industry and Trade, Honourable Joseph Mwanamvekha M.P.;
• All other Cabinet Ministers Present here;
• The Chief Secretary to the Government, Mr. George Mkondiwa;
• The Mayor for the City of Lilongwe Councillor Willie Chapondera;
• Captains of the Industry;
• Members of the Press;
• Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

We have dedicated this day to make a sincere promise to our dearest country. This Buy Malawi Strategy is an oath of patriotism, pledged to our country. And we have no other country to be proud of except Malawi. This is a land of opportunities. And those with eyes for opportunities see and find them. With hard work, we will realise the dream Malawi.
And before I proceed, let me thank the UNDP for providing assistance during the development of the strategy and this launch. You have given us a gift that makes us Malawian!
We pledge to buy Malawian because we are proud of our Mother Malawi. We are proud that Malawi can produce fine products and services worthy our pride.
The goods and services we have seen today tell a story: Malawi is set to take her place in the world. And we will succeed – we will conquer whatever it takes. Success is not the absence of problems; but the conquest of the challenges.
Given the progress of our investment programme, Malawi has made important strides towards the long term goal of diversifying our economic base. But we have also suffered economic setbacks. These are setbacks that reflect chronic and structural problems we never seriously tackled for the last fifty-two (52) years. This is the price we pay for having an economy with a weak productive sector. We are suffering the consequences of being a consuming nation that does not aggressively produce and export.
We are importing too much because we are not patriotic enough to promote our own industries and services. Under Buy Malawi Strategy, we are talking about investment. We are talking of change of business strategies.
How long will our businesses be about importing and supplying imported products? By importing, we export valuable jobs; we import inflation; we strain our forex cover; and complain that Kwacha ikugwa! I would therefore like to challenge the private sector to be innovative, to diversify their portfolios, and become aggressive in producing value added products, for both the domestic, and foreign markets. We must produce; and promote what we produce.
Yes, I said diversify and be innovative. Why should the private sector only wait for Government tenders and contracts, instead of producing value added products and engage in import substitution?
Under normal circumstances, Government tenders should only supplement private sector’s business, and not be the core business. Take advantage of the incentives that we have, and produce better and more for the wider local and international market.
We have undermined our national confidence for too long; we have crushed our self-esteem; we have broken our national pride; and crushed our national dignity!
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we are launching the Buy Malawi Strategy because we are resurrecting the spirit of our national pride, dignity and self-esteem. We are doing this because we want to stimulate local production. We are promoting the spirit of industrialization. We want to create more jobs and create wealth here in Malawi. We want to promote competitiveness and promote quality.
But we must believe in our products and services. We must believe in ourselves. Be patriotic. Who will believe in our products if we, the owners, cannot believe in them? How can we become an exporting nation if we don’t believe in our products?
Today, our national pledge is simple. Buy Malawi! Let us pursue this promise beyond rhetoric. Let us be doers of the word.
As Government, we are accelerating public sector reforms and business reforms to create a more conducive business environment. We are intensifying irrigation programmes to increase productivity because agriculture gives us our raw materials. We are driving in foreign direct investors who will be part of local industry. Besides, we are creating a Buy-Malawi conducive environment by making our laws, policies and energy supply ideal for the purpose.
But, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I have some concerns and advice to producers in this country. I am talking about Quality and Pricing.
You will agree with me that in this modern world, it is only innovative and quality products that can compete well in the market.
I would therefore, like to urge our private sector to be producing high quality goods and services, which will be appealing to customers. Malawian consumers deserve quality products too, and Malawian products should offer nothing less.
The second issue is pricing. There have been many times when Malawian producers have over-priced themselves out of the market. Please, be realistic with your pricing; people will not buy your products simply because you are Malawian, but because your products are of high quality, and your prices are reasonable.
Actually, there is a tendency in businesses to exorbitantly raise prices when fuel pump prices go up. But when the pump prices go down, there is deafening silence. You only know how to pass on costs of fuel or exchange rate upswings to consumers. But when the Kwacha gains value, or when pump prices go down, you don’t want to pass on the same to consumers. Why? This has to stop. Overpricing can kill your business.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This is the time to turn Malawi around. Let us fully support our private sector, including the foreign investors coming to be part of our local industry. This is the time to challenge to be innovative in production, packaging and product diversification.
If our Strategy is to succeed, there is no more time to waste. There is no time to wait. We must begin now or never! And this is how we kick off the actual implementation of this Strategy:
1. All public procuring entities will buy at least 30% of their goods and services from Malawi based enterprises. Those that cannot manage because of the nature of their business should give plausible reasons and seek a waiver from the office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP).
2. From now onwards, civil servants and public servants in all Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Parastatals should, on Fridays, be wearing clothes produced in Malawi.
3. The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development will prioritise allocation of land to enterprises and investors that intend to manufacture goods and provide services on our land.
4. I declare that 18th March each year, will be a Malawi Day. On this day, Malawians shall wear, eat and use Malawian products. During this day Malawians shall celebrate our uniqueness and send a message to the whole world that we are Malawi.
5. I request all hospitality facilities to set aside at least one day in a week to serve Malawian dishes. Let us be the pride of Malawi. And let me congratulate those that have already started implementing this initiative like Sunbird Tourism Limited.
6. Let me also request all Malawians that we should be the first to patronize our tourism facilities. Let us be proud of our country.
7. I request commercial banks to put much emphasis on lending money to enterprises that produce goods and services locally rather than only emphasizing on enterprises that import finished products for re-sell.
8. Last but not least, the Buy Malawi Strategy Secretariat should ensure that the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework is water tight. I want results!
Let me conclude on a moment of great Honour. I have been requested by the Ministry of Industry and Trade that I be the Champion of the Buy Malawi Strategy. And I cannot refuse this national duty and honour. I accept.
And I now declare the Buy Malawi Strategy officially launched.
Proudly Malawian!
Thank You!

APM SPEECH AT DMI-ST JOHN THE BAPTIST UNIVERSITY

• The Chancellor of DMI-St. John the Baptist University, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. J.E. Arul Raj
• The Pro-Chancellor of DMI-St. John the Baptist University, His Lordship Most Rev. Montfort Stima, Bishop of Mangochi
• The Archbishop of Lilongwe, His Grace Most Rev. Dr. TarcisiusGervazioZiyaye
• The Permanent Secretaries
• The President of the University Council, Dr. Thomson Xavier Antony Ananth
• The Director of Education for Africa Mission, Dr. Ignatius Antony Herman
• The Managing Trustee of DFT
• Members of the University Council
• Members of the University Senate
• The Vice Chancellor
• Graduands
• Distinguished Guests,
• Ladies and Gentlemen.

Let me begin by paying homage to you the St. John the Baptist University for the job well done. Congratulations.
This graduation ceremony celebrates the beginning of a great journey of this university. It is a journey in which you have committed to take with you this nation to its great destiny. It is in developing the capacity of individual souls that we develop the capacity of the national spirit to make Malawi a great nation.
This graduation testifies that the Church is supporting Government in the pursuit for increasing access to higher education by establishing private universities. My Government applauds the partnership it enjoys with the Catholic Church in general and DMI-St. John the Baptist in particular in the provision of higher education in the country.
As Government, we are committed to increasing access to education, improving the quality of education, and making our education relevant to our needs. Government cannot on its ownmanage to meet the demand for university education as it far exceeds the supply. In this regard, Government needs the participation of private institutions in the offering of higher education.
Therefore, I would like to commend private universities for the role you play in increasing access to higher education in this country.
But increasing access without improving quality is doing a great injustice to our country. We are therefore set to pursue and meet high standards and quality of higher education. That is why we established National Higher Council of Education to promote, improve and safeguard the quality of academic standards. We began that council when I was Minister of Education because I am personally very keen on the academic quality of education. I am delighted to note that St. John Baptist University is working closely with the Council.
Let me however use this opportunity to remind National Higher Council of Education to stick to your mandate. I repeat, stick to your mandate. We need a fully functioning system that ensures high quality of education in this country.
I need to see a rigorous academic culture in both private and public universities. A university is not just a place where we teach, but a place that produces new knowledges, ideas and perspectives. A university is not just an institution that critiques the present and its past, but also an institution that defines enduring national agendas. The university is not just a factory of degrees, but a place where minds are engineered. If great nations are made ofgreat minds, then the university can lead in the making of a great nation.
And to the leaders of St. John the Baptist University, I want to thank you. I thank you for being dedicated to the noble cause of education in Malawi and other African countries beyond us. I am reliably informed that your aim is to uplift women and youths in education, not only in Malawi, but also in other African countries like Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
As your African Champion for Higher Education, nothing delights me more than to find visionaries who realise that education is the foremost weapon that will shape the destiny of African generations. Africa will only rise towards a common destiny with an education that shares a universal vision. We therefore need education without frontiers such as the one undertaken by the DMI Society.I have every reason to thank the Sisters and Fathers of DMI Society and your illustrious team.
I am also delighted that your education model focuses on skills development. While building capacity for research, you have focused on the spirit of innovation, use of high technology, creativity in knowledge transfer as well as entrepreneurial and moral leadership. Yes, we need such balanced education that develops the whole human being in intellect, skills and character. Yes, teaching the head, the hand and the heart, makes a complete education of humanity.
As I have said time and again, this country will not develop if our national moral character does not change. We must change the way we think. It is therefore the duty of every university and education institution to change the national mindset and develop a culture that cultivates in us patriotism, integrity and hard work.
We must be a people committed to the love of our only country. We must be a people committed to honesty, reliability and being accountable. And we must be a people inwardly driven by the spirit of hard work.
And to our graduating crop, let me say let these principles be part of your character. St. John the Baptist University has baptized you in deep waters of knowledge and skills. To us, you are now the messiahs of development. Your success depends on what you do. It is not what your degree will do for you, but what you will do with your degree. Think of what you can do with your degree to employ yourself and others.

Mr Chancellor
I have noted that this university has taken special interest in empowering women. This is evident in the scholarships and the learning environment you offer to female students. Above all, you waive their tuition fees. You have led what other institutions can do by example.
Keep up the good work.

Thank you all for your attention.

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND BLESS MALAWI

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA DURING A MEETING WITH ANGLICAN BISHOPS

• The Right Reverend Brighton Vitta Malasa
• Chairman of the Anglican Council of Malawi and Bishop of The Diocese of Upper Shire
• The Distinguished Bishop, members of the clergy,
• Members of the Press

  1. I am pleased to welcome you here at Kamuzu Palace.

  2. I am honoured to be with you leaders of the Anglican Council. I am proud of you because you have been committed to improving the living standards of the people from the foundations of this nation.

  3. As an oldest Christian organization in this country, you have for a long time served Malawians in health and education – among other services. We owe you many thanks.

  4. The place of religion in the world cannot be over-emphasized. Religion has always been the shaping principle of human cultures and civilizations.

  5. In our modern times, the Church is the one institution that nurtures our individual personhood; provides society’s needs; supports Government and serve God at the same time.

  6. I want to assure you that my Government shall continue to work with the Anglican Church in Malawi in all areas of Education, health and all other charity works you are undertaking.

  7. I am also very confident that you Distinguished Bishops will continue helping my Government in its entire development agenda. Just as your success is in my interest, it is also in your interest that I must succeed.

  8. But a country cannot succeed without any strong foundation of moral principles. We need to cultivate in the people the right value system that supports socio-economic development. Any sustainable development must be founded on the principles of our umunthu.

  9. That is why I directed that we must re-program our national character on the basis of Patriotism, Integrity and Hard work. These values must be the foundations of our economic progress. These are values that are consistent with scripture. I therefore urge you to take this new value system as part of your teaching agenda.

  10. To teach a nation, to teach the Church, we must also remember the Christian child. As it is written, “Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.”

  11. Let me add that this country will only prosper if we count ourselves servants of one another. Although I hold the most powerful position in this country, in my personal heart, I have always thought of myself as a servant of the people. If anything, that is how I want to be modestly remembered. It humbles me to think that Christ, the first one of God, was himself the servant of mankind. This theology of servant leadership should teach us all to be responsible leaders of the people.

  12. I would like to challenge the Church to teach us the humility of being servants of one another. This is the principle every leader needs in this country. This is the principle on which our deepest sense of duty must be founded. And the Church must be our teacher.

  13. Mr. Chairman, I finally thank you that you and your church pray for us. I ask you to continue praying for me and my Government so that God should grant us the wisdom to make the right decisions; the courage to do what is right; and the faith to follow the right path. And we know, “There shall be showers of blessing” to revive us in the season of spiritual and material abundance.
    May God the Almighty bless all our days and make Malawi a Blessed Land!

I thank you for your attention.

APM STATEMENT AT THE 2015 INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS

STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI AT THE 2015 INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS

 KAMUZU STADIUM

 MONDAY 6TH JULY 2015

 

  • Your Excellency the First Lady of the Republic of Malawi, Madam Gertrude Hendrina Mutharika
  • Excellencies Heads of State and Governments;
  • The Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, Right Honourable Saulos Chilima and Madam Mary Chilima;
  • Speaker of the National Assembly, Right Honourable Richard Msowoya, MP;
  • Your Lordship, the Chief Justice Honourable Andrew Nyirenda, S.C;
  • Honourable Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers present here;
  • The Commander of the Malawi Defence Force, General Ignasio Maulana;
  • The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Loti Dzonzi;
  • Justices of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal;
  • Your Excellences, former Presidents of the Republic of Malawi;
  • The Leader of Opposition, Honourable Dr. Lazarus Chakwera;
  • Honourable Members of Parliament;
  • Leaders of Political Parties Represented in Parliament;
  • Your Excellency, Madam Thandiwe Dumbutchena, Dean Of the Diplomatic Corps and Heads Of Diplomatic Missions;
  • Chief Secretary to the Government;
  • The Chief Executive of Blantyre City Council
  • Distinguished Invited Guests;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen.

President Peter Mutharika inspects guard of honour at Civo Stadium during  the Independence Day celebrations - Pic by Francis Mphweya

President Peter Mutharika inspects guard of honour at Civo Stadium during the Independence Day celebrations – Pic by Francis Mphweya

I would like to begin my address this morning by wishing you all a happy 51st Independence celebration.

My Fellow Malawians, as we look back at the road we came for 51 years, let us also lift up our eyes to the horizon where we are taking Malawi. Contrary to those who want to look at everything negatively, I look at our past and see the road of progress. We have achieved a lot in the last 51 years. But it has been slow progress. And we are not where we should have been by now.

But, Malawi is undergoing exciting times. After 51 years of independence, we are re-making history. The whole world can see that Malawi is on the road to transformation. Only last week, hundreds of foreign investors from all over the world came to Malawi because they can see hope and opportunities. All the international and local speakers at that meeting agreed that we have a better economic outlook ahead of us.

But the economic transformation towards which we are going must benefit all Malawians, whether you live in town or in the village. Economic transformation must mean inclusive development. We fought for independence together. We must develop this country together. We must all be part of the economic growth.

In fact, the struggle for independence was a popular movement of the people. It took the cooperation, sacrifice and involvement of the masses for us to attain this liberty that allows us to create a greater future.

At the highest peak of nationalism, especially between 1953 and 1963, it was villagers who fought for emancipation. These were smallholder farmers labouring across the country. They were barefoot workers toiling on the railways. They were labourers plucking tea on the estates.  These are the Malawians we honour in our national memory today.

Ladies and gentlemen, our road to economic transformation is very clear now. Our vision is clear. Let me outline the four things we are doing to turn around this country. First, we are creating a local business environment and attracting foreign investors to bring their money to invest in Malawi. With Direct Investment, we will undoubtedly create wealth, create more businesses for Malawians, create jobs and create a better life for all. As I said, the response of the entire world is extremely overwhelming. Secondly, we have launched a Skills Development Programme. This is a process of creating a skilled labour to support the industry. Wherever you go in the world, skilled labour is thrust of development. Within this programme, we are building community colleges. With this programme, we will create a skilled labour market to support the expanding Investment. We want this programme to help us create jobs for the youth and the rest of us. Thirdly, we have also undertaken serious Public Service Reforms because we must have a public service that supports our investors and serve the public efficiently. We need a public service that works, and a Malawi that works! But above all, we have undertaken a people-centred approach to inclusive development. The Green Revolution we undertake with the Green Belt Initiative, supporting farmers with inputs and the Malata Subsidy programmes will ensure that this country has sufficient food and Malawians must sleep in descent houses. All Malawians must rise together with the economic growth that is coming. We are all moving towards a better life for all.

But there is one immediate challenge facing us all. The human factor! Umunthu wathu! This is where the problem is. We cannot do with people who are irresponsible; dishonest; lazy – wanting results for which you have not worked; wanting things to be done for us than us doing for others; we cannot develop Malawi if we don’t love our country! We need to be a nation of responsible and patient people. Rome was not built in a day.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I fully agree with our religious leaders, our moral custodians, that we cannot change this country if we are not a responsible nation. We cannot change anything unless we change ourselves. We are the foundations of change, and the pillars of progress on which the future rests. We are now launching a mind-set change programme which must make us a responsible nation.

 

My Fellow Malawians, ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to inform you that Government wants to promote three pillars of progress that support our reforms and national development. The pillars are Patriotism, Integrity and Hard work.

  • We must be patriotic! We must love our country; be proud of her. Be proud to be Malawian. This is our only country.
  • We must be a people of high integrity. We must be a highly principled and honest in whatever we do. There wouldn’t have been cashgate if we were a people of integrity. Corruption would be history if were a people of integrity.
  • We must be hard working people. Work for the results. In whatever we do, let us do it to the best of our ability whatever the circumstances. Whatever you do, do it with all your mind, soul and strength. There is no other road to success!

My Fellow Malawians, ladies and gentlemen, Today, I am calling upon all political leaders, educationists, investors and captains of the corporate world, traditional leaders, religious leaders, Civil Society Organisations and the public at large to embrace these pillars of progress as the core values of our national character. If we ever differ, let us unite on this common cause.

At an appropriate time, we will organize a national conference at which we must draw up a national plan of implementation. We must agree how best we should inculcate these values in every Malawian. I want these values to be collectively owned by all Malawians.

Let me take this opportunity to acknowledge the dedication and selflessness of former Presidents of the Republic of Malawi in serving this country. They served Malawi to the best of their abilities and we thank them for their sacrifices.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank our neighboring countries with whom we live in harmony. We are what we are today because of their support. In a special way let me thank President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Vice President of the Republic of Kenya Mr. William Ruto for sparing time to celebrate with us today. We cherish the cordial relationship that exists among our countries.

Lastly, Tiyeni tiyende pamodzi ndi mtima umodzi. United, we will cross any river of challenges; cross any mountain of hardships; and march every mile until we have conquered.

 

May God bless us all and may He bless Mother Malawi! Thank you!