President Lazarus Chakwera says Malawi has citizens whose mindset is poisoned by negativity, as they use social media as a podium for mob justice where anyone can make demands for dismissal and arrests of public officials.
He made the remarks at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when he presided over the Zikomo Awards for health workers yesterday, on the first anniversary of his presidency.
According to Chakwera, social media was created to build community but Malawians use it as a podium for mob justice where anyone can demand the dismissal of every public official who makes any mistake or the summary arrest of every public official whose crimes cannot proven beyond the gossip of a disgruntled WhatsApp group.
He also decried the conduct of paying disillusioned young people money to flood social media with negative stories about the government.
Chakwera said the stories “keep public officials busy with defending themselves than serving the public”.
He further slammed Malawians for failing to do a simple thing for themselves because of a belief “that someone in government should do it for them by giving them a handout or a shortcut”.
According to Chakwera, apart from inheriting a citizenry whose mindset is poisoned by negativity, the Tonse Administration also inherited a K4 trillion debt, crumbling economy, rising inflation rate, a governance system rigged from top bottom and a Reserve Bank whose leadership was alleged to be facilitating fraud and had been inflating import cover levels to cover up economic mismanagement under the previous administration.
He said the national mess his administration inherited cannot be corrected overnight or in a rush, but through a painstaking process.
He then hailed health workers saying they have kept the Coronavirus at bay so that the government should make progress with its development agenda.
Chakwera mentioned the Affordable Inputs Programme, Covid-19 field hospitals, passing of national budgets, introduction of duty free week and review of the civil service as some of the achievements under the Tonse Alliance administration.
“This is a remarkable list of achievements for any administration to register in its first year,” said Chakwera.
The president added that his administration will fulfill promise after promise until there are no pages in the Tonse Alliance manifesto to implement.
“As we go forward, we will keep building the new Malawi we promised brick by brick, layer by layer.
“My challenge to all of you is to embrace the change we are putting into effect and to reject the negativity some are in the habit of invoking at every turn,” said Chakwera.
During the event, thirty eight health workers were recognized for their role in the fight against the pandemic.