Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday congratulated newly-elected Malawi leader Dr Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for winning the presidential election re-run.
In a statement on the outcome of the election, President Mnangagwa, who is also the Chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, lauded citizens of that country for displaying political tolerance and maturity throughout the electoral process.
He urged the candidates who took part in the re-run and their supporters to accept the official results of the election as announced by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), and to observe the national electoral and constitutional processes should they have grievances regarding the electoral process.
President Mnangagwa also commended the MEC for the efficient and effective organisation and management of the re-run presidential election in the face of the challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said Sadc remains engaged with key electoral stakeholders in Malawi and will render support in the post-election period as necessary.
Dr Chakwera becomes Malawi’s sixth president after he polled 58.57 percent of the vote to defeat incumbent Mr Peter Mutharika in Tuesday’s election.
In February, Malawi’s constitutional court annulled Mr Mutharika’s victory in the May 2019 election, citing vote tampering.
“The Southern African Development Community commends the people of the Republic of Malawi for turning out in large numbers to exercise their civic and democratic right during the re-run Presidential Election that was held on 23rd June, 2020, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Sadc congratulates Dr Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party for winning the re-run Presidential Election, and commends the people of Malawi for the political tolerance and maturity demonstrated throughout the electoral process, and since the May 2019 disputed Presidential Election results,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Sadc also commends the people of Malawi for the peaceful political and security situation that prevails in the country.”
In his acceptance speech yesterday, Dr Chakwera pledged to unite the country and fight poverty.
“Of what use is freedom from oppression if you and I are slaves to starvation? Or freedom from colonialism if you are a slave to tribalism? Time has come for us to go beyond dreaming, time has come for us to wake up, to arise from slumber, and to make our dreams come true,” he said.
“With your help we will restore faith in having a government that serves; not a government that rules, a government that inspires, not a government that infuriates, a government that listens, not a government that shouts but a government that fights for you and not against you.”
Mr Mutharika did not attend the swearing-in ceremony as the law in that country does not require the outgoing president to be present when a successor is taking over. — @mashnets