By Edwin Mauluka
The Malawi’s former president, Dr. Joyce Banda has said people should look for a good president during the upcoming 2019 Tripartite elections as settling on age limit for the presidents could prevent
the country from having great leaders.
People’s Party (PP) president, Banda, made the remarks on Sunday evening to her supporters at a rally held at Masintha ground in Lilongwe.
While acknowledging that youthful leaders can make good presidents citing Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta as good example of a youthful president, however she indicated that some youthful presidents have plundered their countries and sometimes have been easily misled.
“But, there are also good examples of old aged presidents who have made their countries great such as former president of Botswana, Seretse Khama.” stated Banda.
“This suggest that the best way to look at age limit debate is only to look for a good president because age does not matter. Please choose a right person because we have suffered for so long” advised Banda, and disclosed that she is around 60 years and therefore her age is in no other way being affected by some suggestions on acceptable age limit for the country’s presidents
“I sincerely hope” She explained later in an interview “that Malawians will chose a leader with tested leadership and it doesn’t matter if that leader is young. And in my case to be very honest I don’t have to be president again. I was president and I truly believe that I did my best and I served my country well. But that, when we are going forward, any good leader that is identified shall run this country.
And our prayer therefore should be to God to help us to find that person, if that person is Joyce Banda that’s fine.”
When asked if she will pick a youthful running mate in the upcoming elections, she responded; “I am the first person that identified a youthful running mate in last elections. I believe that young people
have a role to play and I believe that age should not be a factor to limit us.”
Banda also maintained that she is presenting herself as candidate in the PP convention and she is ready to support who soever shall be elected to lead the party in the upcoming general elections.
During the rally at Masintha which was her first rally in Lilongwe since her return from a four year stay America, Banda expressed deep concern with dwindling maternal health in the country’s hospitals and
promised that all health issues shall be her priority area once elected as the county’s president.
“We shall continue with provision of decent housing through the program of Mudzi Transformation Trust. I am always delighted to see people including the old people live in good houses. Also, I will not
stop giving handouts to the poor such as distributing food because I cannot watch the poor die of hunger.” She added
Among others, Banda assured that once elected as the president in 2019, she will ensure that farm produce markets offer better prices to enable farmers earn good income, bring back agricultural extension
officers across the country, solve existing electricity problems, as well as continue with women empowerment programs particularly promote establishment of businesses that will enable women to be self-reliant.
The party also welcomed new members who have defected from other parties including the United Independence Party (UIP) and Freedom Party and former cabinet minister Attachments area