Friday, February 14, 2014
STATEMENT BY HER EXCELLENCY DR. JOYCE BANDA THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE PEOPLE’S PARTY DURING THE PRESENTATION OF NOMINATION PAPERS TO THE MALAWI ELECTORAL COMMISSION AT COMESA HALL, BLANTYRE ON FRIDAY, 14TH FEBRUARY, 2014
Your Excellency Chief Justice Richard Banda, SC (Retired);
Hon. Sostein Gwengwe, Running mate to President Dr. Joyce Banda and Minister of
Industry and Trade;
Justice Maxon Mbendera, SC, Chairperson, Malawi Electoral Commission;
And all Commissioners here present;
Mr. Willie Kalonga, Chief Elections Officer; Malawi Electoral Commission;
Hon. Paul Maulidi, Acting Secretary General, People’s Party;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.
Today I present myself and my running mate, Hon. Sostein Gwengwe, before the people of Malawi as our employers to seek our own full term and mandate to lead this country.
Today, I do this with great joy knowing that our country is much better now than when I took over two years ago.
Our people are no longer desperate for foreign exchange, fuel and other social services. Our economy is posed for sustainable growth. Indeed, a very reputable international audit firm, Earnst and Young has predicted that Malawi is one of the top five fastest growing economies in Africa in the next five years. I hope that we Malawians feel the same.
In laying this foundation, we have diversified the sources and structures of growth of our economy.
My fellow Malawians
Our democratic governance is open, tolerant and based on rule of law and respect for civil liberties. As we know, the previous elections were held in an environment of violence, fear and intimidation. This is not the case now.
As incumbent Head of State, in the past two years, I have worked hard towards building an inclusive, participatory and equitable society. I have shown that it is possible to develop Malawi.
The two years were a transit lounge that prepared me for my own full term and mandate and receive the blessings for the country for the next 50 years.
I want to assure all Malawians that as President of this country, I will ensure that we have peaceful, free and fair elections. Our Police Service and all security agencies are on guard to make sure that we have an electoral process according to law.
My fellow Malawians
Today, I call upon all Malawians to continue with me on this journey as I seek my own full mandate as President of this country.
For the two years I have been President, I have come to the conclusion that our country requires a transformational agenda that can enable all Malawians to step up and step out of basic existence. For the past 50 years, Malawians have been continuously worried about basic survival, with the central agenda being food security but still the majority of our people live in abject poverty.
This transformational agenda is saying that we must reject the condition of our villages as we see them today. We must reject grass thatched houses as the order of the day.
The key principal feature of our transformational agenda is to care for and empower vulnerable segments of our population. Therefore, we will continue with social protection programmes including MASAF IV; Public Works Programme, Housing Scheme, Farm Input Subsidy Programme, Farm Input Loan Programme, A Cow A Family Programme, Food Distribution and Cash Transfer Programmes. These programmes are not meant to be hand outs but an empowerment foundation for our rural masses to begin a journey to transformation.
In the health sector, we have seen that it is possible to reduce maternal mortality, mother to child HIV/AIDS transmission and register significant malaria control.
Hence, I am putting before our people a transformational agenda that seeks to modernize our rural areas, overcome poverty and take Malawi into the middle income economy.
In our transformative agenda, we are committed to spearheading institutional and structural reforms of the agricultural sector which will provide a solid foundation for dramatic and irreversible change in the sector. We must reject that a hoe should be the agricultural implement of choice.
We need to diversify, mechanise, commercialise our agriculture; add value to our produce and promote proper storage facilities and research services in order to achieve food security and spur economic growth.
In the past two years, my Government has registered better tobacco prices and we will ensure that our tobacco farmers continue to get even better prices.
This transformational agenda is saying that we must reject that our people should drink unclean water from unprotected wells.
We must reject the poor quality of education in our schools. We must reject the small number of students being selected into Universities each year. We need to broaden access to and improve quality of education at all levels. We need to refocus vocational and technical training for economic growth and job creation for our youth who constitute the majority of our population. We need to make education for the girl child a key component of our education system.
Yes, we must reject poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, and underdevelopment prevalent in our country and move to transform our country in a sustained and focused manner.
My fellow Malawians
I am presenting before you, my country men and women, a call to get our young people decent jobs. This is a call to get our women and men out of poverty, deprivation and underdevelopment. This is a call to get food for the hungry, to eradicate preventable diseases, to let people find their voice, and restore their dignity.
It is now my pleasure to present to the people of Malawi through the Commission, my nomination for the President of the Republic of Malawi and that of my running mate, Hon. Sostein Alfred Ngwengwe as the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi.
I thank you.