BY BLAIR MHONE
President Lazarus Chakwera Monday night held a presidential press briefing at Kamuzu Palace to address some of the pertinent issues and questions from Malawians about his Mozambique trip as well as recent developments about his administration.
One of the burning issues the president addressed was the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director General, Martha Chizuma saga which has been in the headlines in recent days.
Responding to a question on the matter, Chakwera has said all concerned law enforcement agencies need to work together in fighting corruption and he might be compelled to fire those that are undermining the fight to curb the vice.
He said: “If the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Anti-Corruption Bureau director general do not improve the way they work with each other, then I will be compelled to change the people. There is a saying that if you can’t change the people, change the people.”
The President also touched on the recent pastoral letters by Catholic Bishops and Church of Central African Presbyterian-CCAP on the performance of his Tonse Alliance led government by saying Malawians themselves will rate the past two years.
Meanwhile Chakwera also warned government officers who are sabotaging development projects through delays in procurement processes like the overdue signing of the Marka-Bangula Railway project which will be connecting Malawi and Beira Port in Mozambique to reduce transportation costs.
“The cabinet agreed and a directive was made that procurement processes should take a maximum of 21 days and anyone who would be found to have delayed the process would face serious consequences,” he warned.
On the Mozambique trip which he returned home on Sunday afternoon, the Malawi leader touched on a number of areas on how the trip will benefit Malawians in the short and long term.
For instance, the president cited the Mozambique-Malawi Interconnection which is expected to tap 110 megawatts and will help in solving the country’s energy problems after it is completed in 2023.
Apart from that, he said some bilateral agreements have also been made that will benefit the two nations like the construction of 600 metre protruding road into Mozambique at Chiponde-Madimba in order to ease trade and other economic activities.
“We will construct a 600 metre protruding road into Mozambique at Chiponde-Mandimba. Besides that, we have agreed that charging undeserving taxes on track drivers passing through Mozambique should be completely removed to create a good transportation environment,” he said.
He added that the two countries have agreed that Malawians will soon stop paying R50 for stamping a passport when in transit through Mozambique as well as a requirement for travellers to possess R3,000 when in transit.