By Banthu Times Reporter 14/03/ 2014
President Dr Joyce Banda on Thursday said her Government will prioritise the development of rural areas among its development initiatives.
The President said this in Chikwawa during the handover ceremony of a house government has built for Paramount Chief Lundu as his official residence at his Mbewe Headquarters in the district.
“If anyone asks you of my government’s manifesto tell them it is rural transformation as there is nothing I would like to see other than rural areas in the country changing with people’s lives changing for the better,” explained President Banda.
She explained it was one of the reasons government was constructing houses for traditional leaders in the country, further linking it to the Mudzi Transformation Trust, where she added it was her dream to see all the areas where the trust was being implemented equipped with good houses, good water sources, people raising livestock, being food secure and having health facilities.
On the newly constructed house for the paramount, the President explained government decided to build the residence for the chief as Lundu was one of the oldest chieftaincies in the country, hence the need to accord it the respect it deserves.
On that note the President then expressed gratitude to the Paramount Chief who asked government to open a health post in his old house to serve people from the surrounding areas.
“I have known Lundu for a very long time and he is development conscious as every time that I meet him he usually asks me of things that government has to do for his people and that is very commendable,” said Banda.
In addition to officially handing over the house to the paramount chief, the President also presented equipment under the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDEF) to a number of youth clubs and maize flour to households that are affected by hunger in the district.
On the relief items, the Paramount Chief asked Banda to continue with the distribution saying that those who were busy disapproving the initiative were well off and do not need the food that is distributed by the President.
“Traditional leaders are the custodians of people and we know the problems that Malawians are facing. There is hunger in the country and for someone to say that what you are doing is wrong shows that there is something wrong with that person,” said Lundu.
On that note the Paramount asked government to change the name of Chikhwawa to Chikwawa as it was previously called claiming that is the right name for the district.
Chikwawa was changed to Chikhwawa during President Bingu wa Mutharika’s time during the 40th anniversary ceremony of the Paramount Chief allegedly without proper consultations and traditional leaders in the district have been asking government to revert back to Chikwawa and on Thursday Banda accepted the change in the name.
The newly handed over house which has cost government K38 million, was built by the Ministry of Lands, through the Ministry of Rural Development which contracted the Malawi Housing Corporation to do the work.