Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera traces Kenya, Malawi ties

Thursday, October 21st, 2021 00:00 |
Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera speaks at the Wang’uru stadium in Kirinyaga county during Mashujaa Day celebrations, yesterday. Photo/PD/Gerald Ithana

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera used yesterday’s Mashujaa Day celebrations to recount the shared struggles between his country and Kenya in the fight for independence.

Chakwera, who was the chief guest during fete, told the gathering how Kenya’s founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta remains a household name in the South African nation.

He said Jomo Kenyatta and Malawi’s founding father Hastings Kamuzu Banda encountered the same struggles in their fight to take control of their nations from foreign powers.

 “Malawi and Kenya have been brothers for long. This started way back when Jomo Kenyatta and Kamzu Banda went through the same struggles,” he said.

Foreign control

 “The struggle for independence in Malawi and Kenya did not only take place simultaneously but also symbiotically and with this, we renew our brotherhood,” he added.

 Accompanied by his wife Monica, Chakwera said to further strengthen the bond between the two countries, six months after Kenya gained its independence, Jomo Kenyatta hosted Banda in Kenya. 

“The struggle for independence in Kenya and Malawi was the fight against foreign control.

It is no accident that after the founding father of Malawi became Prime minister in 1963, the founding father of Kenya became a prime minister six months later,” he said.

Turning to today’s celebrations, Chakwera said Mashujaa Day describes the solidarity and freedoms that Kenyans share 58 years since Kenya gained independence.

 “By celebrating this day together we reignite the solidity our people share and rejoice in the freedom that lights our path into the future.

The future I see for our two nations is one that is shared exchanges, shared prosperity emanating from shared struggles we faced,” he added.

 Chakwera is a former cleric, who headed the opposition Malawi Congress Party before being elected to office during a repeat election last year .

He jetted into the country on Monday for a three-day State visit. 

He was elected after leading the Assemblies of God for 24 years, but admitted, when he was first running for president in 2014, that making the decision to become a politician was not easy.

 He led a nine-party coalition, the Tonse Alliance, and had the backing of former President Joyce Banda as well as the country’s vice-president, Saulos Chilima, as his running mate.

Diplomatic relations

 Kenya and Malawi enjoy historical diplomatic relations that have existed since the two countries became independent.

 The two countries’ relations have also been enhanced by exchange of high-level visits between them.

 Trade between Kenya and Malawi has continued to register steady growth over the years and is attributed to the launch of  the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Free Trade Area in 2001, bilateral arrangements between the two countries and promotional activities by the mission.

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