Madam Speaker and Honourable Members,
On 23 June, 2020, Malawians voted in the historic fresh presidential election. The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) declared candidate for the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), His Excellency Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and his running mate, Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, winners.
I wish to congratulate His Excellency President Reverend Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and State Vice President Right Honourable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima for their victory. I am well aware that His Excellency Dr. Chakwera is a capable leader having worked with him in Parliament for many years when he was Leader of Opposition. As such, I have no doubt that the country will be in good and able hands.
A day can be a year in politics. It is as a result of that election that I am honoured and privileged to stand before you this afternoon as Leader of Opposition. I wish to convey my deepest gratitude to His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika for yet again entrusting me with such huge responsibility. I know there are others who are equally deserving of this honour, but His Excellency Professor Mutharika appointed me, for which I am grateful to God the Almighty.
I accept this challenge with utmost humility. As I perform my duties and responsibilities, I will rely on teamwork to succeed. I am hugely aware that teamwork is important and essential in order to accomplish the overall objectives and goals of this House so that we satisfy the expectations of the people we duly represent.
I would be failing in my duty if I do not acknowledge the outstanding contribution made to the Malawi nation by the outgoing President His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika during the period that he has been in office. Madam Speaker, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika is a true definition of ‘Statesmanship’. The former President will go down in history books as the most tolerant leader who remained calm, amidst serious political provocation and personal denigration. Professor Mutharika stands out as a bastion of diligence and respectable national leader who, despite serious electoral irregularities in the recent election, including intimidation and physical attacks on DPP and UDF monitors, he called on DPP-UDF Alliance supporters to remain calm and peaceful and to accept MEC declaration of the final winner.
Professor Mutharika truly believes in good governance and the rule of law as evidenced by his acceptance to hold fresh presidential election.
Madam Speaker, on behalf of all opposition members in this august House, I wish to acknowledge the commitment and personal sacrifices that His Excellency Professor Mutharika made for this during his time as President of this country. He truly inculcated the spirit of love and unity amongst Malawians.
As President of our mighty DPP, Professor Mutharika has been playing a central role in helping the party forge strong relationships with other political parties, such as the UDF, and other stakeholders both local and international.
Under his outstanding leadership, Professor Mutharika raised the profile of DPP significantly, and for that we say, “Thank you A PROFESSOR MUTHARIKA”.
I wish to join His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika in acknowledging that Malawi is a democratic country where the will of the people must be allowed to reign. Malawians have thus spoken through the fresh presidential election and it is important that their will is respected. It is obvious that our supporters are disappointed but I wish to take this opportunity to urge them to accept the election results and to move on. That will be the first step towards healing and rebuilding our mighty DPP.
The most critical thing to do now is to draw back and do an audit of where we may have gone wrong and start all over again.
In John Chapter 12 Verse 24 in the Holy Bible, our Lord Jesus said “Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a seed of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed, but if it dies, it bears much fruits.” Yes, the DPP may look like it has died today like a seed, but I can assure you that DPP shall re-germinate with vigour and bear more fruits.
Madam Speaker and Honourable Members,
Let me take this opportunity to assure our colleagues on the government side that we, on this side, will provide the new government the necessary support as it embarks on the momentous taskD managing the economy and re-uniting Malawians against a backdrop of serious tribal, ethnic and regional divisions. Indeed, we will ensure that we engage constructively with government without deliberately opposing for the sake of opposing.
It is important to acknowledge that the DPP administration under President Professor Mutharika has been integral in keeping the Malawi economy in shape and improving people’s lives, even in the midst of various challenges, including the recent COVID 19 pandemic.
We will therefore draw from that experience to provide checks and balances to the new government to ensure that only representative policies are implemented for the benefit of all Malawians regardless of region, tribe, creed or colour. Malawi is a country that we all call HOME.
As the House rises this afternoon, I want to assure you that the opposition will in future meetings conduct itself with responsibility and not ruin the game for the sake of the prize.
Malawians are anxiously waiting to see a new opposition that does not pander to narrow political interests. I will ensure that as parliamentarians, we ought to be positive examples and true representatives of our constituents in the way we behave and conduct business in the House.
I THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION AND MAY GOD BLESS MALAWI🇲🇼