By Yamikani Sabola
Malawi Vice President Dr Saulosi Chilima has challenged Malawians to positively change their mind-sets in order to achieve meaningful national development.
Speaking on Friday evening when he delivered a public lecture on mind-set change at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, Chilima said negative attitudes are suppressing the country’s potential to develop.
Delivering the lecture, titled “Imperative mind-set change for national development,” Chilima observed that Malawi has capable human resources that can turn around the country’s fortunes and unlock its potential to develop.
He said Malawians should stop looking down upon themselves and start believing in their capabilities.
“It is possible to build a productive, competitive and resilient nation and change the status qou from poverty to prosperity but we will only be able to do that if we believe it can be done. Other countries have done it and we can do it too through persistent efforts,” he said.
Chilima said Malawians should be masters of their own destiny and be forefront in steering the country’s development initiatives in a collective manner, instead of pushing the responsibility to political leaders only.
Touching on the issue of joblessness, Chilima urged reforms in the education system so as to produce entrepreneurs who can create jobs for others.
He pointed out that the current system is largely training students to become job seekers who end up into loafers after graduating.
Chilima also criticised a political culture of engaging opinion leaders, including chiefs, to defend unpopular government decisions and demonise real or perceived political opponents.
“People are paraded on televisions to defend silly things and they get paid for it. They will do that with one regime, after that, they will do it with the next regime under the guise that they work with government of the day.
“We need to deal with these opportunistic tendencies once and for all. Fortunately, we now have a president [His Excellency Dr Lazarus Chakwera] who cannot tolerate that,” he said.
The public lecture was patronised by high profile figures including, among others, the State President, Dr Chakwera, cabinet ministers, Members of Parliament (MPs), Heads of foreign missions, judges, civil society leaders and the academia.
Making his remarks, President Chakwera commended the Vice President for the public lecture saying it was timely and necessary.
Dr Chakwera said there was need for continued national discussions on course of action the country needs to take to achieve national development and improve livelihoods of the citizenry.