President Lazarus has allayed fears that relocation of headquarters of government institutions from other cities to Lilongwe will affect economic development in some cities of the country.
He was speaking when responding to question from Members of Parliament yesterday.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Zomba Central Bester Awali said the economy of Zomba suffered after the Capital of Malawi was relocated to Lilongwe. He added that Blantyre may also suffer a similar fate amid plans by the Chakwera administration to relocate headquarters of Immigration Department, Malawi Revenue Authority and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority to Lilongwe.
“What plans do you have to ensure that there is equitable economic development growth in all districts of Malawi other than Lilongwe only,” asked Awali.
Chakwera in response said the Tonse Alliance government will build a Malawi that is prosperous for everyone and no city will be left behind.
“We can all prosper and all cities can prosper, and we will do it,” said Chakwera.
The Malawi leader also argued that there is a misconception that economic development should be based on government institutions rather than allowing the economy to grow through private sector enlargement.
He noted that when people want to make money they think about doing business with government, saying this usually leads to corruption.
“What I would love is for real economic development that does not look at government as the biggest partner to work with. Let there be genuine production in this country and then we won’t have to worry about government offices leaving that town and going to that town,” he said.
On the relocation of Immigration Department Headquarters, Chakwera said the decision was made by late President Bingu wa Mutharika and was already being implemented by the Peter Mutharika administration.
“This is an example of a good idea conceived by a past administration that needs to be implemented by my administration because the practise of scrapping good projects from past administration out of spite is not consistent with principle of servant leadership
“I assure all Malawians who loved Bingu’s vision that this one dream of his that I will bring to fulfillment,” said Chakwera.