His Excellency, Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia says Zambians and Malawians are one and must work together to fight problems confronting their two nations.
“I will support you and consult you,” the President assured His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi, when he welcomed him at State House today.
According to a statement issued by Special Assistant to the President Press and Public Relations Mr. Isaac Chipampe in Lusaka on Tuesday 22nd September, 2020, the President said Zambia and Malawi share a common boundary, rich culture, language and common heritage which signified the oneness of the two peoples.
And President Chakwera said his administration looked forward to working with President Lungu’s Government. He said Zambia has come to Malawi’s aid in times of disasters and that this is because the two countries share a common heritage.
“In fact we have the Kulamba ceremony when the peoples of Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique come together to celebrate under Gawa Undi,” he said.
President Chakwera said the two countries share the same challenges, including power deficits and unreliable rail transport, and it is important that solutions are found through working together.
The two Presidents held bilateral talks with President Lungu telling President Chakwera that it was a great honour that he chose to visit Zambia first as the new President of Malawi.
Congratulating the Malawian President on his victory in the Presidential elections, President Lungu said: “I would have loved to come to witness your inauguration but it was not possible at the time.”
President Lungu commended his counterpart and the people of Malawi for conducting peaceful elections.
“I am confident that Your Excellency would promote the advancement and furtherance of democratic principles, fundamental freedoms, and good governance for the consolidation of democracy in Malawi and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region,” the President said.
In response, President Chakwera thanked President Lungu for delegating the Minister of Defence, Hon. Davies Chama to his inauguration.
The Malawian leader then invited President Lungu to Malawi for a State Visit. He said the conversation with President Lungu should continue.
“Your Excellency I will take you to Lake Malawi so that we continue the conversation,” to which President Lungu responded in the affirmative.
Dr. Chakwera congratulated President Lungu for the Patriotic Front’s victories in the Lukashya and Mwansabombwe by-elections.
And President Lungu has said the Zambian and Malawian Governments need to partner with their respective private sectors to grow their economies. He said the two countries can develop billionaires if they supported their businessmen the way other countries do.
President Chakwera agreed with President Lungu that it was time the two Governments supported the private sector to grow as this will grow the countries economies instead of heavily depending on multilateral aid. The Malawian leader said President Lungu had shown leadership in the way Zambia has managed the Covid-19 pandemic especially that the country was not under lockdown like other countries.
President Lungu responded that the world was in “unchartered waters and all we can do is pray and pray and pray that God Almighty sees as through the pandemic.”
President Lungu said there is a silver lining to the Covid-19 pandemic citing opportunities created for the local farmers to sell their produce without competition from outside.
The President acknowledged the strong economic ties that actively exist within the framework of the Zambia/Malawi Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPC).
“I am satisfied that the two countries held the last Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation in 2017, in Lusaka, during which the two sides reaffirmed their commitment and determination to enhance bilateral cooperation in areas such as border operations, infrastructure development, transport and agriculture, aimed at improving the living standards of the peoples of both countries,” the President noted.
And the President has underscored the need for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to expedite development of the Nacala Development Corridor, the Mtwara Development Corridor, the Shire River Waterway and the Chipata -Mchinji Railway, through the Zambia-Malawi-Mozambique Growth Triangle
“These initiatives are aimed at stimulating economic growth by facilitating communication and movement of goods and services between the two countries, as well as through Mozambique.
President Lungu commended Malawi’s election as incoming Chair of SADC and pledged Zambia’s support to Malawi and other members of the SADC troika as they advance the objectives of the regional body.
“Zambia, as a strong advocate of peace and security in the region and internationally, and having recently been a member of the SADC Organ Troika, will continue to advocate for the promotion and maintenance of peace and security on the African continent and the rest of the world,” added the President.
President Lungu underscored the urgent need to advance the United Nations Security Council reforms in order to respond effectively to the global challenges relating to peace and security.
Public Relations Unit
Ministry of Foreign Affairs