By Fostina Mkandawire – Mana
President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has advised the Malawi Defence to embrace a culture of self reliance so that they can utilise available resources with due diligence.
The President’s remarks comes after the Malawi Defence Force failed to utilise their helicopters which are not functioning to rescue victims of cyclone Freddy earlier this year.
Chakwera was speaking on Friday, in Salima district, at the Malawi Defence Force College (MAFCO) when he presided over the commissioning ceremony of the 81 Officer Cadets as Military Officers to the ranks of Lieutenant and second Lieutenants.
He acknowledged that like other Government Ministries and Departments, the Malawi Defence Force is facing financial challenges saying they need to utilise available resources efficiently.
“The Malawi Defence Force should embrace the culture of self reliance, and come up with lasting solutions to some of the challenges they are facing, I am also pledging my support to the defence force,” he said.
He said it was disheartening to witness how the Malawi Defence Force could not come to the rescue of some cyclone Freddy victims and they had to wait for other countries to rescue the victims due to un functional helicopters that need fixing.
On this point, he said integrity and faithfulness should be at the forefront of the Malawi Defence Force adding that they should always do what is right at all times.
Chakwera further advised the commissioned Officer Cadets to serve the country with dedication and selflessness.
He said the new recruits have demonstrated leadership and determination by completing the rigorous training.
“This call of duty you have answered should push you to keep your passion to serve the country, you should exhibit good character and be a good example of people around you, so that you can achieve more in this life
Always remember that you have been entrusted with the welfare of your fellow citizens, you have been trusted to defend others, you should always be faithful and diligent.” he added
The Officer Cadets have been undergoing military training for the past 15 months, which commenced from 21st March 2022, among the 81 cadets 72 are from Malawi and 9 from other countries who are allied to the Malawi Defence Force, in addition 21 are females and 60 males.
Minister of Defence, Harry Mkandawire commended the Officer Cadets for withstanding the theoretical and Military science training, adding that the international graduating students proves that the Malawi Defence Force is trusted internationally.
“This training has come at an opportune time when we are partaking in peace keeping missions, this group will enhance Malawi’s participation in peace keeping missions,” he said.
Commander of the Malawi Defence Vincent Nundwe commended the cadets for their resilience for their commitment during the training, he also commended the government for their continued support to the defense force.
Nundwe further called upon the officer cadets to be patriotic and uncompromising.
He said they are delighted to have added numbers to the Malawi Defence Force, because there is more work that needs man power in the country’s security services.
The officer cadets were assessed physically, mentally and character wise and at the onset, 106 candidates were enrolled in the training and over the course of the training 25 candidates dropped out and others were withdrawn due to various reasons.