Muluzi told Mana, in an interview at his BCA residence in Blantyre that President Lazarus Chakwera’s rising to the chairmanship will set the agenda for the region, hence putting the country at an advantage.
“I, first of all, have to congratulate President Chakwera for the upcoming role to lead the SADC region bloc. This will help him set the tone and direction as chair on how matters should be run, which eventually put this country on the limelight.
“Malawi is living in a global village where it cannot isolate itself from the rest. By chairing and hosting the 41st SADC Summit, the chair will help in addressing the devastation caused by the deadly Covid 19 pandemic in the country and beyond, “he said.
He added that peace should be at the center stage of all operations so that the SADC bloc achieves meaningful development, adding that the insurgency in Cabo Delgado in Mozambique and conflicts in DRC should be critically looked at as they impact negatively on regional progress.
“Malawi is known to be the warm heart of Africa, so let us open up and show them our warmth. I also must appeal to city authorities to consider cleaning up so that visitors talk good of us when they will have gone back to their respective countries,” Muluzi appealed.
Dr. Joyce Banda, appealed to SADC countries to utilize the launch of the African Free Trade Area, so that the country exports hugely in agricultural products and make enough money, and gradually make it a tobacco replacement.
“I am exporting agricultural products myself and I cannot meet the high demand available on the market. We should also begin to move towards value addition by using SADC region as our regional market to uplift our farmers in Malawi and beyond,” Banda said.
She added that, she is excited that during her reign as SADC Chair, a female became SADC’s Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, after a period of male domination.
“My experience was so great, that we introduced a series of responses on health matters like immediate introduction of ARTs for any woman who tested HIV positive so that the unborn baby is not infected. Not only, we also introduced new ARVs which do not cause any body deformities,” Banda recounted.
She added: “During my time it was for the first time to see fifteen Heads of State and Government assembling in Malawi and we benefited a lot from this.”
The 41st SADC Heads of State and Government Summit will be hosted in the country for the third time.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eisenhower Mkaka has urged citizens to rally behind the president so that we help him accomplish the expected results according to SADC objectives and vision.
He said in liaison with SADC’s Secretariat, preparations to host the 41st summit are moving on at a pleasing speed.
“We are looking at sustainable energy, free trading space where barriers will not be there for the social economic growth of member states in line with the SADC objectives and mission.
“We agreed to manage and provide reliable power supply regionally with its head office in Namibia. It is therefore imperative that we rally behind the president as individuals and a nation to show our solidarity,” Mkaka said.
Political Scientist, Nandin Patel, says Malawi should increase on media visibility on SADC meeting coming soon that will run from 9 to 18 August, 2021.
“Malawi will be at a great advantage to use this as her opportunity to sell our services, materially and culturally. Above all, we must embrace a team working spirit as Malawians so that we promote our president to achieve the objectives of this regional integration.
“Chakwera’s success is the success of the nation and will flag up our identity as hardworking people,” Patel said.
Malawi first assumed the SADC chairmanship on 8th August 1997 which was held in Blantyre under the Bakili Muluzi led government, and in 2013 from 17 to 18 August, under Joyce Banda regime which was held in Lilongwe.
Ironically, SADC Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax became secretary of SADC in Malawi in 2013 during Dr. Joyce Banda and will also retire this year in Malawi, in 2021 as Chakwera rises to SADC chairmanship.