Mutharika Snubs Talks………….
State President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on Thursday engaged former Heads of State to tap into their pool of knowledge on issues of the national interest.
Ex-Presidents, Bakili Muluzi and Joyce Banda made themselves available for the meeting while the President for Democratic Progressive Party, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika did not entertain the invitation.
Updating the Nation on Cyclone Freddy on Sunday, President Chakwera said he thought of meeting the former heads of State at a presidential caucus to discuss on issues surrounding the disaster.
“When I am back in the Southern Region on Thursday for early inspection of the disaster areas, I will also meet Malawi’s former heads of State who I personally invited to a presidential caucus at Sanjika to discuss ways through which we can work together in responding to the disaster in the spirit of on-going operation, a spirit that says ‘Tiyeni Tigwirane Manja’,” Chakwera was quoted.
Today, 23rd March, Chakwera has confirmed that he had a meeting with the former heads of State where both Dr Muluzi and Dr Banda pledged to support the government in providing necessary respite to affected communities.
“On my second stint in the Southern Region for more assessment of Cyclone Freddy damage, I have engaged former heads of State who I cordially invited to tap into their pool of knowledge and global social capital as we seek short and long term remedies for our people,” wrote Chakwera on his Facebook page.
“Excellencies Dr. Bakili Muluzi and Dr. Joyce Banda, have presented valuable insights on how best we can provide immediate relief to the displaced then rebuild resiliently against climate-induced disasters.”
Meanwhile, the two former Presidents in the spirit of Operation Tigwirane Manja, have pledged to support all efforts lined up by government in providing necessary respite to affected communities.
On Mutharika’s absence, it is yet to be known as to why he did not turn up for the meeting.
However, Spokesperson for Mutharika, Shadrick Namalomba had told local media that they did not receive an official invitation from the president.
“Our president has, on many occasions, extended an olive branch to Chakwera to show him that, within the DPP, we have men and women who can assist in governing this nation,” Namalomba is quoted to have responded.
According to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, the recent preliminary reports from all the 15 affected councils, namely; Balaka, Blantyre City, Blantyre District, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Mangochi, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe, Thyolo, Zomba City and Zomba District indicated that as of 22nd March 2023, the number of displaced people due to Cyclone Freddy is at 562,415 with 576 camps set to accommodate the displaced.
The death toll is at 511 with 1,332 injuries. The number of reported missing persons is at 533 from 537, with four bodies of missing persons recovered.
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