President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has condemned red-tape and bureaucracy in public service delivery, lamenting that such a vice is breeding corruption in the country.
In a direct reference to the distribution exercise of relief items to the victims of Tropical Cyclone Freddy across the country, President Chakwera said other misguided and unscrupulous individuals are taking advantage of the exercise to self-enrich themselves.
The President has since sternly warned those in the forefront of distributing relief items to immediately desist from the malpractice or face the long arm of the law.
“Let us get rid of corruption and instead let us implant the spirit of love and care of one another…stop using my name as President Chakwera or that of Malawi Congress Party for personal gain and advantage,” said President Chakwera.
He was speaking at Mwenelondo Primary Primary School ground in Karonga where he undertook disaster impact inspection tours on Friday.
The President was in Karonga to conduct a series of disaster impact inspection tours of communities that have been affected by the devastating Tropical Cyclone Freddy as well as drought.
During the tour of the district, the Malawi leader inspected affected rice paddy, maize and Sesame fields in three villages of Samifolo, Mwangolera, and Mchenjerele.
Throughout the tour of the sites, the President was briefed by both Ministry of Agriculture as well as the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) officials about the nature and magnitude of the impact of both the prolonged drought and flooding. He is also interacted with communities in all the earmarked sites.
Last week, President Chakwera told Malawians that no matter where the climate change events are unfolding, his government will tirelessly work towards bringing relief to all those affected, according to their immediate needs, while preparing a comprehensive national recovery and reconstruction plan for rollout in the foreseeable future.
District Commissioner for Karonga Mr. Rodrick Mateauma hailed the State President for his decisive leadership in the aftermath of the effects of prolonged drought and flooding in the district.
Mateauma said soon after the disaster had befallen the district, President Chakwera did not hesitate to direct that all the affected people should receive relief items as a matter of urgency.
He said since the directive, the distribution of relief items to the victims has been seamless and is underway as planned, adding that each affected household is receiving a 50 kilogram (kg) bag of maize.
Briefing the President in details, Mateauma said official statistics show that a total of 38,605 households were affected by the disaster in the district.
According to him, the district had received early rains on November 22, 2022, December 10, 2022 before abruptly stopping on January 28, 2023, only to restart two months later on March 11,2023, thereby triggering one of the worst droughts in the history of the country.
In his remarks, Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga and Chitipa described President Chakwera as “a true father of the Malawi nation,” referring to the President’s affirmative actions and response in the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy.
“Thank you Your Excellency for hearing our cries and for holding our hands. You have demonstrated that you are a true father of the nation,” said Kyungu.