It is the end of year again, and the beginning of another year. We have every reason to thank God our creator for being with us. Personally, I have every reason to thank God for his grace.
I ask all Malawians to join me in thanking God for giving us life, caring for us and providing for our country. Many times we are so negative minded that we focus on problems, and ignore what God has done for us. We choose to ignore what is good about us as a country.
This country is full of hardworking people who wish the country well. There are many Malawians who are always working hard to care for their families, to get the economy running and alleviate the suffering of the many.
These are the silent majority who speak less and work more. We cannot, and we should never forget them.
I would like to thank all Malawians who put their families and their country first in working hard to take Malawi to prosperity.
I want to thank farmers who work hard and feed this country; teachers who spend sleepless nights to teach our children; nurses and doctors who care to heal the nation; soldiers and police officers who sacrifice themselves to make Malawi a secure country and there are many more examples.
We have seen moments of patriotism and self-sacrifice in a policeman brutally killed by those he wanted to protect. May the soul of Superintendent Imedi rest in everlasting peace.
There are many Malawians sacrificing themselves to protect lives, build our economy and serve this country. We need to thank them.
Let me also acknowledge that my government has taken note of allegations of police heavy-handedness in some parts of Lilongwe after a police officer was murdered in cold-blood there while on duty. Investigations are underway to establish the truth about the allegations.
Let us not forget. In the past five years, we have collectively saved the economy from the ruins of 2014 to the stability and inspiring growth we are seeing. By all international standards, Malawi has proven to be an economic performing star— a rising African star. This is what patriotic Malawians can do for their country.
Let us not forget. In the past five years, we have collectively seen more electricity taken to the rooftops of more people in the village. We have seen piped water taken to the doorstep of more villages than ever before because we believe people in our villages deserve better.
We have provided shelter to the elderly, widows, orphans, people with albinism and people with disability with the Malata and Cement subsidy program.
I am aware that some some Malawians in some parts of the country are facing hunger. Let me assure you that food aid is available from the government. No one will die of hunger.
While on the same , let me register my disappointment with reports of favoritism in food distribution that have reached me.
I am reliably informed that some leaders in the communities are abusing the government food distribution programme.
They are discriminating against bonafide would-be beneficiaries, protising their family members and in some cases using the government food for personal gains. This irresponsible behavior must stop immediately.
The food aid should be made available to all deserving individuals regardless of party affiliation, religion or the beneficiary’s relationship to the leaders in charge of distribution.
My message to the those abusing the programmme is that government is watching you, you will be caught and you shall face the long arm of the law.
Lest we forget. With new tarmac roads, we have connected more people and more villages to their hospitals, markets and schools. We have empowered the Youth with skills to create their own jobs and employ others through community technical colleges.
And let us not forget. For the first time in the history of this country, we have made Malawi a better organized society with the introduction of the National ID. Malawi now has an identification system.
Now we are able to identify and eliminate thousands of ghost workers who have been stealing our money from the public treasury. We are saving public funds for drugs in our hospitals.
With National IDs, people in the villages and those in cities can equally access banks because we are creating opportunities for everyone to participate in the economy.
In the past five years, we started making progress again. This is the progress this country lost in 1979. By 1978, Malawi’s economy was ahead of China and other countries in income per capita.
Among other reasons, state violence, oppression and victimization of citizens inhibited people’s participation in the economy.
With violence, oppression and victimization of the people, we were deliberately creating poverty instead of ending it. You built a good house, and it was taken away from you. You made money, and you were killed or sent into exile. You were creative and talented, you had to be punished for it.
And we have many living examples today. Our soccer legend Kinna Phiri should have been the first Malawian to play professional football out of Africa. But he was stopped because some politicians feared that he was going earn a salary more than a cabinet minister.
Since the Democratic Progressive Party came to govern this country, we have always maintained our mandate to the people of Malawi. Malawi Congress Party came to end colonialism. They finished their job.
The United Democratic Front came to bring democracy. We honour them for that. The DPP came to develop this country. And we have work to do!
In May 2019, we came to renew our mandate. We asked Malawians decide to continue with development, or to return to the years of violence, poverty and oppression. We had to choose between rebuilding this country or destroying this country. This I told you Malawians wherever I went.
Whatever happens, let us be proud that we had a historic Election. We should never lose sight of the progress we have made. For the first time in our history, we funded our own Election.
We shall forever stand proud that the Election was overwhelmingly commended by local organizations and the entire international community.
All international observers and foreign governments praised us for conducting what they described as “peaceful, free, fair, credible and professionally managed” Elections. These are not my words. This is history written on record.
I would like to thank our development partners and friends in the international community who have overwhelmingly supported my Government in the year ended. These governments, partners and investors have shown their confidence in us.
Together with the United States of America, we have started constructing 250 secondary schools. The Millennium Challenge Corporation has also approved the Second Compact program because of our good governance record.
There are many more governments who in their support endorse the progress Malawi is making.
Global Fund has committed to support us with $500 million. IMF has resumed budget support for the first time since it was suspended in 2013. We also have serious investors who intend to start building a city in Mangochi, together with Mangochi Airport and a five star hotels. We are set to make progress.
Unfortunately, very unfortunately, some people decided to respond to their election defeat by inciting violence, spreading intimidation and victimizing innocent people.
In the name of expressing their rights, they have inflicted painful suffering in Malawians. In the name of democratic rights, these political leaders have frustrated businesses; damaged the image of their own country; burnt schools to disrupt learning of innocent students;…broken and looted shops; burnt houses of DPP supporters; burnt houses of police officers and their families; torched police units to destroy our security and create lawlessness; beaten innocent people and killed innocent people.
All this was done simply to create anarchy, frustrate the economy and create suffering in you Malawians. The whole political logic was to create misery and suffering in order to create anger and incite the people against Government. This is being done in the name of democracy. But is this the democracy we want?
Let me appeal to all political leaders to desist from politics of violence because we gain nothing out of violence. We can do better. Violence victimizes innocent people and damages those causing it alike.
My appeal goes to all political leaders including the leaders of HRDC because HRDC is by its actions is a political organization. HRDC is a political organization that is slowly degenerating into a terrorist organization because its leaders enjoy creating terror among the Malawians.
As we enter the Year 2020, I want us all to seriously reflect on what we want for our country. Where do we want to take this country?
Let us unite in agreeing where we want to take this country.
I want to appeal to the media to be patriotic and think positively of this country. Our negative news can easily scare away investors which could create jobs for the youth. You can support your country to attract investors and create jobs with constructive reporting.
Avoid being used as agents of destruction. Be careful of influences that want to use the media freedom, free press and freedom of expression this country enjoys as pathways to frustrating our country’s development agenda. Protect and defend the media, protect and defend your country.
Most of us were there when we agreed what kind of democracy and what kind of Malawi we want to make twenty-five years ago. We have the duty to lead the youth in rejecting violence and move to the Malawi we want.
In 1993, we agreed that Malawi shall be a democratic country. We agreed that we will belong to different political parties and remain one people, one nation, one development agenda.
We agreed that belonging to another political party should never be a crime.
We agreed that belonging to different political parties is not a reason for us to be divided.
We agreed to respect those elected to lead the country even if they do not belong to our political party.
We agreed to accept the will of the people at every Election if we are to move forward. We agreed to accept that the majority will does not mean the will of everyone.
We agreed to respect our laws and courts because we want Malawi to be a society of order.
As we enter the Year 2020, let us agree to rebuild our country. Let us agree to move forward because we all want to move on.
Let us agree to love one another. Let us agree to wish each other well. Let us wish one another peace and love.
Lets forgive each other
Let us enter 2020 as a year we can make a difference. I wish you all a prosperous New Year.
God Bless Malawi
May God Bless you all. Thank you for your time.”