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Malawi’s President Chakwera Calls for Sacrificial Leadership to Overcome Inertia and Drive Lasting Change

 

Lilongwe – The long-awaited summit which was postponed following the death of the former Vice President Saulos Chilima, was finally convened in Lilongwe today. The summit, which carried the theme “The Rising of Patriots for Change in Malawi: Counting the Cost & Rebuilding the Nation”, was organized and hosted by Dynamic Leaders and Gatekeepers Forum whose Executive Director is Reverend Dr. Zacc Kawalala.

Reverend Zacc Kawalala welcoming President Lazarus Chakwera on his arrival at BICC

In a rousing keynote address, President Lazarus Chakwera issued a powerful challenge to the nation’s leadership, urging them to make three critical sacrifices in order to catalyze the sweeping changes Malawi so desperately needs.

Speaking before a gathering of congregants comprising government officials and private sector leaders, the President struck a somber yet resolute tone, acknowledging the country’s persistent struggles with inertia and the stubborn resistance to progress. Evoking the example of Christ’s own sacrifice, Chakwera laid out a clear blueprint for the type of transformative leadership required to overcome Malawi’s entrenched challenges.

President Chakwera in the company of Vice President Michael Usi forming part of the audience hosted by Reverend Zacc Kawalala

Firstly, the President emphasized the need for leaders to “sacrifice the excess weight” – whether outdated systems, incompetent personnel, or a pervasive culture of slowness – that is holding the nation back. He stressed the imperative for tough, decisive action to excise these impediments, even when it means making difficult decisions.

Secondly, Chakwera called for a deep, introspective sacrifice of repentance, challenging the leaders to confront and purge the sins, pride, and ego that can easily ensnare and derail their efforts. Only by humbly acknowledging and addressing their own shortcomings, he said, can they hope to lead with the moral authority and conviction required for lasting change.

Further, the President underscored the indispensable sacrifice of endurance, reminding the audience that meaningful progress demands a steadfast commitment to see the process through, no matter the hardships encountered. Echoing the resilience of Christ, who “endured the cross, scorning its shame,” Chakwera urged the leaders to reject the temptation of quitting and to embrace the long, arduous journey of transformation.

“Endurance is a sacrifice we must make as leaders. If it rains while you work, endure it. If it burns while you work, endure it. If it hurts while you work, endure it. If you suffer hunger while you work, endure it. If you suffer exhaustion while you work, endure it. If you suffer ridicule while you work, endure it. If you suffer reproach and public shaming while you work, endure it. If you suffer loneliness while you work, endure it. If you suffer loss while you work, endure it”, the President said.

Evoking the memory of the late Vice President Saulos Chilima, whose rallying cry of “Osaopa, Osatopa, Osafowoka” had inspired a generation, Chakwera added a crucial addendum: “Osanyanyala” – never give up. This, he declared, is the character that must define Malawi’s leaders if they are to fulfill the nation’s promise.

In a stirring conclusion, the President challenged the assembled gatekeepers to embrace these principles of sacrificial leadership, to lead with courage, conviction, and an unwavering commitment to the hard work of rebuilding Malawi. The path forward may be arduous, he acknowledged, but the rewards of lasting change are within reach for those willing to pay the price.

“Don’t leave the battlefield when the fighting becomes fierce”, he said adding that “lasting change and progress demand the sacrifice of endurance, and in [the] Scripture we are assured that endurance is how we embrace God’s treatment of us as children he loves and endurance is how we reach the joy that God has for us at the end of our race”.

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