“This is one expensive flower I have ever paid for,” joked President Arthur Peter Mutharika on Thursday as he bought a Poppy flower at K1 million, launching the 2019 Poppy Week Appeal.
He then appealed to Malawians to support the noble task by buying poppies and wearing them with pride to help the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) raise funds which go towards care of World War 1 and 2 veterans who are kept in MDF memorial homes.
Said Mutharika: “Many of us forget that it has taken the service and commitment of others for Malawi to have the peace and stability that we enjoy today.
“We should never forget where we are coming from as a country. But he who does not know where he is coming from cannot know where he is going.”
The Malawi leader encouraged Malawians to buy and wear poppy flower to demonstrate appreciation for the role war veterans and former servicemen played in selflessly fighting for peace.
“This year let us in our large numbers buy and proudly wear this poppy flower also a commemoration of peace and stability. If you love peace, and you wish this country peace— buy and wear the poppy flower,” said Mutharika.
“I repeat— the peace and stability we enjoy in this country comes from the sacrifice, dedication and patriotism of our security forces. Let us honour them,” he added.
“This is our sacred cause! This is the cause pioneered by our veterans and fallen heroes we remember and honour today.”
Mutharika said fighting for peace and stability “is the same sacred cause that takes us to peacekeeping missions around the world. And we want to be good peacekeepers abroad and at home.”
Veteran Ex-soldiers League of Malawi (Velom) chairperson retired Brigadier General Charles Kalumo concurred with the President on the need to support the war heroes.