By Cedric Nkungula
Former President of the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) Atupele Muluzi has commended President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera for reaching out to the country’s past presidents to help with resource mobilization for thousands of Malawians who have been heavily affected by the effects of Tropical Cyclone Freddy.
Writing on his Facebook page, the young Muluzi also commended Chakwera for dating members of parliament to update them on the crisis.
“I commend H.E President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera for addressing parliament yesterday (Wednesday) on his administration’s response to the impact of the cyclone,” says the former UDF leader.
“Today (Thursday), he caucuses with former presidents. This is progressive and worth congratulating.”
On Thursday, Chakwera met Former President’s Dr. Joyce Banda and Dr. Bakili Muluzi at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre to rally their support and update them on the extent of the crisis.
The two former presidents have sine accepted the call by Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera to serve as ambassadors of goodwill to support the cyclone survivors.
In their remarks after the landmark meeting, the two former presidents unanimously expressed their willingness to serve together with Chakwera as ambassadors of goodwill to ensure the necessary assistance reaches the people and areas affected by the cyclone.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, President Chakwera, described the deliberations as fruitful.
The Malawi leader said he had requested the presence of the two former heads of state as ambassadors to help with resource mobilization as the country meets immediate needs as well as long – term needs.
Chakwera revealed that he has agreed with the two leaders to convene another meeting.
Muluzi thanked President Chakwera for inviting them and for giving them an update on the cyclone.
“We have assured him that we will give him all the support. This is a national issue, it has hit our people and it is our responsibility that we give all the support necessary to ensure that all the support is available for our people,” said Muluzi.
Taking her turn, Dr. Joyce Banda shared the sentiments of Chakwera and Muluzi.
“I truly believe that it is the responsibility for all of us to stand with and by the president to see whatever we can do in our individual capacities to alleviate the suffering of our people,” explained Banda.
“The President has asked us to serve as good will ambassadors and we have accepted to take this task, not just in Malawi but also beyond.”
Last week President Chakwera appealed to all the people in the country to forget political affiliations and demonstrate a spirit of oneness.
Latest figures from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) indicate that the death toll from the natural disaster has risen to 511 while 533 people are still missing and 1332 are nursing injuries.
Over 560,000 have been displaced and are currently being sheltered across 576 camps.