Written by  McDonald Chiwayula

Malawi President Dr Lazarus Chakwera says he didn’t wear a mask in Tanzania including his entire entourage but the nation should be assured that all are safe from the deadly COVID-19.

Chakwera with Magufuli in Tanzania Chakwera with Magufuli in Tanzania Martha Chikuni

The Malawi leader was speaking on Saturday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe during the weekly radio broadcast of Malawi Wa Tsopano.


The President said he had information that other quarters of the society feared for the President and his delegation but he echoed that all is well.


“As you are aware I have been emphasizing that we should all play a role to halt further spread of COVID-19 by washing hands with soap or sanitizing, observing social distance and wearing of masks. The 30 hours we have been in Dar es-Salaam I adhered to the two preventive measures.


"However, there were genuine reasons why I didn’t wear a mask; because my entourage was certified COVID-19 negative likewise our Tanzanian counterparts and we kept hand sanitising till we returned,” said the Malawi leader.


The President said the other reason he didn’t put on a mask was to underscore the trust he has for John Pombe Magufuli, President of Tanzania. Chakwera said this fearless gesture enabled Magufuli to open up and discuss issues of mutual interest between the two countries in a candid manner.



Gift presentation to the First Couple in Tanzania


“Though we took this risk in Tanzania but I can assure you that President Magufuli ensured that we are all well protected. Because of this stance our discussions were fruitful.


"Let me emphasise that the meeting helped to mend broken fences and cleared outstanding issues affecting our relationship with the Republic of Tanzania.The delegation will be subjected to further COVID-19 tests just to ensure we are all safe,” said Chakwera.


Recently during the SADC Heads of State virtual meeting hosted by Mozambique it was officially announced that Chakwera is the incoming Chairperson of the grouping in 2021.


The President said since he will Chair SADC from 2021, he found it imperative to make official visits to Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe to familiarise himself with current undetakings and enhance Malawi's multilateral ties with her neighbours.

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