Namisa Blogger of the year 2013,Stimulating the much needed debate

Malawi Congress Party President Rt Hon John Tembo on Monday described President Joyce Banda’s State of the Nation address she delivered during the opening of the National Assembly on Friday May 18 2012 as an address that affords the nation an opportunity  ‘to take stock of what we have done and how we have performed the past year, and  also provides us with an opportunity on how we can chart our way forward as a nation’.

In his statement, Tembo, who is Leader of Opposition in Parliament openly said his party would render  support to government policies that would help Malawians. He then called upon the cabinet ministers the much desired support to the president in steering the country from the challenges it is facing.

The Dedza South parliamentarian attributed the economic mess the country is in to ‘greed and selfish ambitions of the privileged few’. He added that it was ironical to see some people that were part of the creation of this mess acting like angels now.

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Below are some of the notable quotes from his 10-paged response (the emphasis is mine).

Mr Speaker Sir, allow me to express my sincere congratulations to Her Excellency the State President on her ascendency to the highest office of the President of the Republic of Malawi. What we have witnessed over the past month is a clear testimony that good will always triumph over evil. Mr Speaker Sir, this is the working of the hand of God at its best. When God says yes, no one can say no.

Mr Speaker Sir, over the past few years, we witnessed a nation maturing itself into a mess by the deliberate policies and ambitions of those that were entrusted with the authority to govern us all. I am extremely happy to state that every impunity has its end. The end of an era of oppression, suppression and depression has beckoned the dawn of new hope and a new Malawi where every person can have his/her dignity and freedom back.

Mr Speaker Sir, I feel confident to stand before this Honourable House and before the people of this nation because for once, after this past regime, we have a government that is committed to restore the rule of law and ensure freedom for its people. We have a government that says anybody, regardless of political affiliation, can be covered by our public broadcaster, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. We have a government that would want to treat the sons and daughters of this country on the same basis without promoting one tribe or clan above others. We have a government that is committed to listen to its people. I sincerely commend government for this commitment.

While the people of this great nation were sleeping in filling stations in anticipation for a litre of fuel, running from one hospital to another in search of a tablet of aspirin, queuing for a packet of sugar, and the list can go on, the privileged few were jumping from one plane to another and from one conference to another proclaiming that the Malawi economy is right on track.

Mr Speaker Sir, it is an open secret that we, as a nation, were driven into this economic mess because of greed and selfish ambitions of the privileged few.

Mr Speaker Sir, as the opposition both in Parliament and outside Parliament, together with the Church, the civil society and the media, we did as much as we could to raise the signals that things were off track but we had a government that did not know what, when and how to listen to its people. The irony of this whole episode is that some of those that were championing the course of the past government with fervency are acting like angels today.

Read the whole speech here: JZU’s Response to the State of the Nation Address 2012-2013

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