Media asked to identify more of MW2063 Champions

Former President Bakili Muluzi was hounored for championing establishment of proper governance institutions

* To help in promoting and profiling these Champions within their respective spaces wherever chances arise

* Journalists have a great role to play in making Malawians truly believe we have the ability to translate our plans into actual reality

By Duncan Mlanjira

Individual Malawians who are being identified and awarded by National Planning Commission (NPC) as MW2063 Champions are people with a strong voice in their arena, who possess the ability to easily influence others to help in spreading the message of the national vision.

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These MW2063 Champions have the potential to mobilize people’s participation and action in the implementation of the national development agenda, thus NPC asked the media to “help in promoting and profiling these Champions within their respective spaces wherever chances arise”.

The appeal was made during a workshop for journalists that NPC organised on Saturday at Palm Valley Executive Lodge at Bvumbwe and in his opening remarks, Director General, Thomas Munthali said they are confident that with the contribution of the Champions’ efforts, the popularization of MW2063 will go even much further.

“Further, help us identify more of such champions including within the media fraternity — be our ears and eyes,” he said. “As a Commission, we are planning to be part of the media awards supporting positive stories — stories that give hope about implementing the MIP-1 (the MW2063 First 10-Year Implementation Plan) and meeting its two milestones.

“The bottom line is, MW2063 must be realized. As a country we need to understand that we do not have the luxury of time, and that the time to act is now!

The media interface

“Therefore, those of us that have the responsibility of disseminating information to the public, have a great role to play in making Malawians truly believe that as a country we have the ability to translate our plans into actual reality.

“Let us do our part as a media — ana athu akukula and we need to support them with decent jobs and livelihoods. Let us promote those initiatives that will make this a reality than just finger pointing.

“Primarily, always asking ‘how is this intervention by the state or non-state actor promoting inclusive wealth creation and self-reliance?’ zinazo zitichedwetsa.”

He further said the most important thing is to remain focused on meeting the Vision by doing the right things and, “while doing the right things, we may sometimes narrowly miss the milestones on the way due to unforeseen shocks, but we will surely still be on the path to meeting our Vision”.

“Let us do our part as media by showcasing more of what is working and holding accountable those that are supposed to deliver on the priority interventions that will make us realize the MIP-1 aspirations at the shortest time possible even amidst exogenous shocks.


In December last year, the NPC honoured former Head of State, Bakili Muluzi with the MW2063 Intergeneration Champion award in recognition of the efforts he and his administration of 1994-2004 made in establishing governance institutions and introducing free primary school education in the country.

Muluzi, who said he was greatly honoured for such a prestigious recognition, said the landmark achievements that he has been recognised for — that include establishment of the governance institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB); the Office of the Ombudsman; Human Rights Commission; the Law Commission; Financial Intelligence Unit; the Public Affairs Committee and others — “would not have been been possible without the support of distinguished men and women” who worked with him.

He made special mention of the support from various sectors such as the civil society; religious organizations; the private sector; the civil service, his Cabinet and all Malawians.

Thus he dedicated the award to the citizenry, saying: “This honour is not mine but belongs to the people of Malawi who gave me all the support I needed. My role was to lead the process and making sure that we deliver and indeed we delivered”.

Amongst the guests present to witness the auspicious occasion included members of Muluzi’s Cabinet, such as Brown Mpinganjira, Rolf Patel, Jaan Sonke, Ziliro Chibambo, Clement Stambuli, Peter Fatch as well as first chairperson of Public Affairs Committee, Rev. Silas Ncozana.

Muluzi also paid tribute to “distinguished men and women who were part of the process but are no longer with us”, saying: “I would like in particular to mention late Dr. Justin Malewezi, who served as Vice-Presidentand late Dr. Chakufwa Chihana, who served as second Vice-President.

“I must emphasize that I never led the process to deliver these achievements for personal glory or to earn praise but to make sure that our country was liberated fully to enjoy the fruits of democracy.”

He emphasized that the governance institutions “were established for a purpose — to act as pillars of democracy” adding that “they must be given all the support they need in order for them to execute their functions professionally and according to law”.

“They must be led by men and women of integrity for the good of our democracy. Talking about free primary school education, I know that some people — especially the elite — do not appreciate the importance of free primary education.

“A right to education is a fundamental human right provided for in our Constitution. The introduction of free primary education was part of the poverty reduction strategy which was the hallmark of our administration.”

He commended “the good work that NPC is doing in guiding the country in terms of what needs to be done and where we want to be as a country by the year 2063”.

“As they say, ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’. The plans that are being developed by the Commission should be understood that they are plans for the country and the people of Malawi.

“I, therefore, call upon all political parties — past, present and those of the future — that these are plans for Malawi and not necessarily for political parties. These plans ought to be supported across the political divide.”


The NPC Director General, in his summary, said as the first President of Malawi in the multiparty dispensation, Muluzi played a key role and needs to be honoured for his intergeneration initiatives — whose benefits are being enjoyed by the country at large.

“Facts are stubborn because they speak for themselves and remain etched in the annals of history,” he said. “There are many individuals that need to be recognised and you, Dr. Bakili Muluzi stand out and you deserve it.

“The democracy we are enjoying came from selfless sacrifices people like you gave that you even risked your lives for. We don’t take it for granted because your initiatives were for intergeneration.”

Munthali mentioned that the ACB was established as one pillar of governance and that “there are some people who are perfecting it — thus being an intergeneration initiative”.

“There are several other people that need to be recognised at community level, who have been identified for embracing the self reliant theme of MW2063.”

Kandi Padambo, secretary general of the United Democratic Front (UDF) — the party that Muluzi and most of the guests were part of its formation — profiled Muluzi’s achievement in which he said the former President championed for the enforcement of the law; socio-economic empowerment through MASAF I and II and the free primary education that saw an increase of enrollment from 1.9 million children in 1994 to over 4 million by 2004.

He further said secondary schools were increased from 104 in 1994 to 840 by 2004 while vocational skills technical colleges also increased and he also championed for the establishment of Mzuzu University and liberalized the tertiary education sector by allowing creation of private universities.

In the health sector, Muluzi’s administration saw the establishment of modern health facilities that included construction of Mzuzu Central Hospital and district hospitals of Thyolo and Chiradzulu.

He also highlighted that under Muluzi, the country was blessed with the first TV station, MBC Radio 2 and revolutionalised the establishment of mobile phone services first through Telecom Networks — now known simply as TNM.

“Dr. Bakili Muluzi decided that his face should no longer be on coins or banknotes to to honour past heroes bringing with John Chilembwe. In his tenure of office, no project was named after his name.”


Padambo thus applauded NPC that they made the right choice because Muluzi gave a “selfless service to our nation” and described the NPC as an organisation that has individuals of “higher caliber who have no political axe to grind”.

NPC Board chairperson, Richard Mkandawire attested that they are apolitical and made their choice in the Renaissance agenda that is in the MW2063.

“We made a very thorough assessment which involved public sentiments which suggested that Muluzi deserved to be recognised. Dr. Muluzi championed for many social and economic intergeneration development projects.

“He was a believer of true democracy when he established the governance institutions,” said Mkandawire, while also emphasized that the MW2063 was born after the expiry of Malawi Vision 2020 that Muluzi initiated — saying a lot of positive concepts that were in that development plan but were not fully utilized, have been incorporated in the MW2063.

He thus challenged Muluzi to be part of this self reliant agenda in reaching out to the citizenry on mindset change, which is a pillar for the MW2063, saying: “You are a powerful orator. Your powerful voice and towering leadership should be used to preach on mindset change towards self reliance and worth creation.”

Thus the NPC asking the media to help identify more MW2063 Champions to mobilize people’s participation and action in the implementation of the national development agenda.