NTCHEU--Pres Joyce Banda on Saturday elevated Traditional Authority (TA) Kwataine of Ncheu to Senior Traditional Authority in recognition of his active participation in development and safe motherhood programmes dating back to 1996.
“After thorough investigation of the Kwataine chieftaincy and the chief’s hard working spirit in fostering maternal and safe motherhood initiatives, and with consideration of the Ngoni tradition, among others, it has pleased me to elevate Traditional Authority Kwataine to Senior Traditional Authority Kwataine,” said Banda at the event held at Madzanje Primary School in his area.
The president said the chief and the National Coordinator of the Safe Motherhood Programme, Dorothy Ngoma, should raise awareness among all chiefs in the country on safe motherhood to reduce maternal and infant deaths.
“Let me advise all leaderships and political parties that this not time for politics, but for development,” said Banda who then returned to a theme she raised on Independence Day, July 6.
“I also call upon all civil servants to continue being committed to their duties so that there is good collaboration between policy makers and implementers of government programmes for the country to develop,” said Banda.
Some observers say the president’s commenting on civil servants to be part and parcel of her government’s agenda recognizes that when there’s change, there’s some who resist.
When her predecessor, Pres Bingu wa Mutharika, died in April, some cabinet ministers tried to circumvent the constitution with the aim of installing Mutharika’s brother, Peter, as president. Their argument was that Banda didn’t belong to the ruling party.
In December 2010, Vice Pres Banda was sacked from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). She was accused of forming parallel structures. Banda had refused to endorse a DPP plan to have Peter as Mutharika’s successor and the party’s candidate for president in 2014, the year Malawi is expected to go to the polls.
Mutharika's efforts to have Banda removed as the country’s vice president didn’t yield results as those powers rest with parliament.
Since she became president, Banda has reversed some of Mutharika’s controversial policies and repaired ruptured ties with donors – they have pledged support - who had cut off aid, citing the president’s growing authoritarian tendencies.
“It’s only natural that you can’t convert all,” Phillip Khembo, a keen follower of Malawian politics, told MaraPost. “I think the president is doing the right thing reminding civil servants that we are in this together.”
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.