"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

MCP legislator Njobvuyalema praises Bingu

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislator Joseph
Njobvuyalema nearly overshadowed national forestry season launch Monday
in Lilongwe when he showered praises on President Bingu wa Mutharika,
saying Malawi could have developed further if Mutharika took over the
reigns soon after former head of state Kamuzu Banda.

Njobvuyalema, MP for Lilongwe Mapuyu, is a fierce critic of Mutharika
and his government and was one of the opposition members of Parliament
who nearly rejected this year’s national budget in the National

Speaker of Parliament Louis Chimango, who is also an opposition MCP
legislator, attended the official launch of the season in Chief
Kalolo’s area.

As soon as he arrived at the venue of the launch, which was attended by
cabinet ministers and their deputies, members of the diplomatic corps
and Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Bright Msaka, among
other dignitaries, Njobvuyalema freely mixed with Democratic
Progressive Party (DPP) officials and shared with them jokes.

When the President arrived, Njobvuyalema sat in the front row with
Mutharika, number four from the President after Minister of Health
Khumbo Kachale.

In his speech, Njobvuyalema who is also MP for the area, said Malawians
wish Mutharika ruled the country soon after Kamuzu Banda, saying the 10
year gap rule by Bakili Muluzi (whom he did not mention by name) was a

“Sometimes it makes me think that if you took over power just soon
after the first Ngwazi, things could have changed for the better. I am
sure you could have sorted out some of the challenges the country is
facing. As you might be aware, in between the rule of the first Ngwazi
and you, we had a mess, it is good that your administration is cleaning
up that mess,” said Njobvuyalema as DPP women, supporters and other
dignitaries clapped hands.

Without directly saying that he was ready to serve Mutharika, he said
in Chichewa parable that “ngati ukumpatsa galu nyama, ngakhale kuti
galuyo siwako, akusatira,” which loosely means if you give a dog meat,
even if it’s not yours, that dog is bound to follow you.

Njobvuyalema, therefore, thanked government for launching the forestry
season in his area, which “is very important as trees are part of life
and the programme is one of the developments in this area”.

He also asked for other developments like roads, potable water and bridges, among others.

Mutharika gave Njobvuyalema special recognition at the launch and wished him merry Christmas.

He described Njobvuyalema’s attendance and speech as a sign of
political maturity and urged other opposition politicians to do the

“We need to leave politics away in order to further develop the
country. We should all unite, both the opposition and the government,
especially this festive season of Christmas,” said Mutharika.

Commenting on criticisms by MCP president John Tembo on why the
President accepted the honorary title of Ngwazi, which the leader of
opposition said was reserved for Kamuzu Banda only, Mutharika said he
did not apply to be given the title and did not know in advance that
the Ngoni chiefs from Mzimba wanted to honour him with the title.

Commenting on the forestry season, Mutharika said he ordered the
extension of the season from a month to four months (from December 15
to April 15) because of the importance trees play in people’s lives.

The President said he has personally planted 6,000 trees, which include
masuku, mibawa, oranges, pawpaws and pine, among others on his private

Mutharika, however, was worried that bushfires, especially in Chikangawa and Zomba, were destroying trees in the country.

“In 2009, we should ensure that bushfires are reduced. One day, on my
way to Mzuzu while I was in a helicopter, I counted 31 bushfires, this
is bad and must be stopped. Report to us those who start bushfires so
that we can counsel them,” said Mutharika.

Mutharika said bushfires do not only destroy trees but force animals to migrate and cause soil erosion if left unchecked.

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