PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has promised to always support and consult his Malawian counterpart Lazarus Chakwera.

And President Chakwera has expressed his gratitude over Zambia’s support to his country during times of crises.

Speaking when President Chakwera visited State House, Tuesday, President Lungu said Zambians and Malawians are one and must work together to fight problems confronting their two nations.

“I will support you and consult you,” President Lungu assured President Chakwera.

He also congratulated his Malawian counterpart for his victory in the presidential elections.

“I would have loved to come to witness your inauguration but it was not possible at the time,” President Lungu said.

“I am confident that Your Excellency would promote the advancement and furtherance of democratic principles, fundamental freedoms, and good governance for the consolidation of democracy in Malawi and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.”

In response, President Chakwera thanked President Lungu for delegating Minister of Defence Davies Chama to his inauguration.

The Malawian leader then invited President Lungu to Malawi for a state visit saying the conversation should continue.

President Chakwera agreed with President Lungu that it was time the two Governments supported the private sector to grow as this will grow the countries economies instead of heavily depending on multilateral aid.

“Mr President I still remember I called this lady because of what she (Dambisa Moyo) wrote about Dead Aid. Sometimes you read and re-read these things and know that we just can’t live by maintenance and we can’t have financial institutions almost telling us to always be where we are supposed to be. We need a break where we can truly rise. So, I am looking forward to working with you and the people of this nation despite the problems we face now, of course we have COVID-19. But Zambia has always been our friend even when we had disasters in our country, for example, the cyclones we had. You helped us and so forth. So, I am grateful for the support,” President Chakwera said.

The Malawian leader said President Lungu had shown leadership in the way Zambia had managed the COVID-19 pandemic especially that the country was not under lockdown like other countries.

President Lungu responded that the world was in “unchartered waters and all we can do is pray and pray and pray that God Almighty sees as through the pandemic.”

President Lungu said there is a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic citing opportunities created for the local farmers to sell their produce without competition from outside.

The President acknowledged the strong economic ties that actively exist within the framework of the Zambia/Malawi Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPC).

Meanwhile, President Chakwera appealed to Zambia to help his country secure a seat on the Human Rights Council in the upcoming New York elections.

“Your leadership has been greatly appreciated. Our people know who to live together and we need our permanent commissions to collaborate. We need to sensitize our people on every level, on security, on intelligence, in terms of education, trade, and so forth. We see that we are so interrelated. We are almost like Siamese twins. And when we had a history of electricity blackouts in our country, you came to our aid. And we would also want to support positions that are mutually beneficial to our nation particularly when it comes to membership in COMESA and SADC, and then the United Nations via the African Union. We would love to solicit your support because our desire is to have a seat on the human rights council during the upcoming elections in New York. So, if you could help us, you know, next time we could help you also as we have done in the past. We always support our neighbors,” President Chakwera said.

President Chakwera also congratulated the ruling PF for winning the Lukashya and Mwansabombwe parliamentary by-elections.

“I know that last week, the ruling Patriotic Front won by-elections in Lukashya and in Mwansabombwe on 17th September 2020. So, congratulations. I want to underscore our need for peaceful coexistence that we have been and to continue to share relations because we cannot undo history. We are the same people and it’s important for us to see how our people can also prosper knowing that we share similar aspirations. What troubles one, troubles the other. In our region, we want economic prosperity, we want industrialization, and we want our livelihoods changed. It’s going to be exponential growth because when we look at the trajectories and if we want to grow incrementally, it’s going to take hundreds of years. So, we need something that really causes us to expand in a way that our people can sense the difference and say ‘hey, this is now real,” said President Chakwera.

“Our relationship has been anchored on common history and our attachment to rule of law, democracy, respect for human rights, good political and economic governance, transparency and accountability. All of these things sometimes we talk about is to create a space for everyone to prosper and of course Zambia has more tribal groups than Malawi but most of the tribal groups found in Zambia are also found in Malawi. So, we share languages, we share cultural festivals. So, we would like to see how we would enhance these relationships and economic levels as well as SADC and COMESA and so forth. I am grateful because I have learned a little bit that I have been a leader when you led as chairperson of the SADC organ on Politics, Defense and Security. We would like to learn more on how our people can share strengths. Our region needs to be secure. We have peace and security in the DRC, we have peace and security close to us.”