Chakwera defends decision not to wear mask

President Lazarus Chakwera says he did not wear a mask in Tanzania because people in Tanzania do not wear masks as they believe that Coronavirus was eliminated in their country.

The Malawi leader was speaking upon arrival from Tanzanian on Thursday.

Chakwera was criticised in Malawi for not wearing a mask during his two day stay in Tanzania where he held talks with President John Pombe Magufuli and also carried out public engagements.

Speaking Kamuzu International Airport today, the Malawi leader said he was doing what his hosts do in order to earn their trust.

“In terms of what Tanzania has experienced, their tradition is not to wear a mask because they believe they have been over the pandemic and so it’s a question of trying to balance what our tradition is and what our diplomatic preferences would be in order for us to establish true relationships based on trust,” he said.

On the Lake Malawi wrangle, Chakwera said Magufuli described the wrangle as a non-issue and they did not discuss it during the trip.

According to Chakwera, the two leaders first wanted to strengthen relations, build trust and develop friendship before discussing sensitive issues.

Chakwera with Magufuli in Tanzania

“So that when we talk about sensitive issues we talk from a position of friendship and not from a position of hostility,” said Chakwera.

He added that the trip was a success as they discussed various issues include trade, mining and transport.

According to Chakwera, they want to make sure that the two countries create an environment where businesspeople from Tanzania and Malawi partner together in various areas in order to integrate a vision needed for the SADC region.

The Malawi leader was expected to return from Tanzania on Friday but he cut short his trip due to other engagements.