Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM Party counterpart Saulos Chilima on Tuesday called on the nation to respect women, saying they contribute a lot to nation building.
Speaking in separate interviews in which Nation Online sought their messages on Mother’s Day, both said women play an important role in nation building; hence having a special day to celebrate their strength is commendable.
Said Chilima: “I wish all mothers a special day as Malawi observes Mother’s Day today. We salute our mothers, and women in general. They are the soul of our nation.”
Asked how he spent the day, the UTM Party leader, who was the country’s vice-president between May 2014 and May 2019, said he spent it with family and further reached out to those that play a motherly role in his life.
On his part, Chakwera said the day has a lot of meaning and that he spent it with his wife Monica and their family, and further reached out with gifts to some mothers.
He said: “I wish all mothers God’s very best for them. May they be provided for and protected. May they prosper in all they do for the betterment of Malawi and humanity.”
“Of course, on a very personal level, this is the day my wife became a mother for the first time when our only son was born. His sisters, born after him have all become mothers too. I am blessed. Actually, we have just sent gifts to a few mothers, including my 94-year-old mother-in-law. My wife and I have chosen to stay home and have the day to ourselves.”
The Nation also reached out to President Peter Mutharika, through his press office and the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara, but they had not responded by press time.
Malawi celebrates Mother’s Day on October 15. The day was initially set aside by former President Hastings Kamuzu Banda on October 17 and it was later celebrated on the second Monday of October. But former president Bingu waMutharika changed it to October 15 to coincide with the International Day of Rural Women, set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008.