President Joyce Banda has dismissed opposition political leaders and other critics of her government and its policies to keep a distance and just watch as she runs the affairs of the government.

The President spoke at the Domasi rural hospital in Zomba on Tuesday where she laid a foundation stone for a maternity waiting shelter.

She was responding to calls by the opposition and some civil rights activists for the President to cut her local travels which they argue are straining further the public purse.

“I would like to join the MP and the chief who have spoken here that I need to be given time to govern this country. Indeed this is my time, please leave me alone.

“Everyone should run his or her own parties. If you are failing to run your parties, please don’t attempt to run mine,” said Banda.

Banda’s critics have largely questioned her many trips on food distribution which they say are not economically viable.

The President has insisted she will keep distributing the food until March.

At the ceremony, President emphasised the need for safe motherhood in the country. She called upon men to support their wives in ensuring safe deliveries for women.

Speaking earlier, Minister of Health Catherine Gotani said it was important for the President to lead in construction of health facilities.

She said Banda’s critics could not appreciate her efforts because they access expensive hospitals in urban centres while she was working to ensure health facilities for rural communities who cannot afford expensive private facilities.

On Monday, the president was in Machinga also laying a foundation for a maternity shelter. She has been to Ntcheu and Mulanje, among other places, on similar exercises.

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