Malawi President calls for aid on independence day

Malawian President said there was still much more to be done to improve the lives of the people.

Mzuzu: Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika on Wednesday called for more support from donors to his poor southern African nation, as the country marked 47 years of independence from Britain.

"We need more support. Malawians appreciate donors for walking with us all the way," Mutharika said in a speech broadcast live on state radio from a ceremony in the northern city of Mzuzu.

Donors provide up to 40 percent of the country`s development budget.

"We have come this far together. We hope as partners you will support our efforts," Mutharika said.

He said donors "should not act as a barrier to development, but as a lubricant to the operations of a machinery to build Malawi”.

Mutharika said the poor nation had entered an "era of doing things differently", citing the zero-deficit budget which he said was meant to make the country "stand on its own”.

"As an independent nation, our destiny lies in our own hands," he said.

"When the resources are there, when we stop corruption, we should be able to develop ourselves."

Mutharika, who is in his second five-year terms, said he was aware that there was still much more to be done to improve the lives of the people.

"As a nation, let us find lasting solutions," he said, without referring to fuel and forex shortages, which have rocked the country over the past year.

In March, a grouping of donors under the Common Approach to Budgetary Support (CABS) raised concerns over the country`s new media restrictions, the rule of law and delayed local polls, saying this would affect their budget support to the landlocked country.

Malawi has held local polls only once in 2000, but has postponed the polls on several occasions since then, including in 2005 when it cited a famine that threatened half the population.

Bureau Report

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