, BLANTYRE, Feb 1 – Malawi\’s press on Monday welcomed the naming of President Bingu wa Mutharika as new head of the African Union, but said the southern African state should lead the 53-nation bloc by example.
"Malawi needs to lead by example… to consolidate its milestones and clean up in areas the country has not done well. We all know these areas," the Nation newspaper commented with a front-page headline of "Bingu floors Kadhafi at AU".
Mutharika was named on Sunday to replace outgoing bloc president Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, who made an unsuccessful plea for a second term.
The newspaper said the AU chair placed a "larger premium on Malawians — the president, government and the ruling party in particular — to do things well," the newspaper said.
It was not only Malawians "watching or expecting sound dividends in areas such as food self-sufficiency, peace, unity or governance, but also the rest of the 53-member AU citizens and the global community," it added.
The independent Daily Times, founded by the late dictator Kamuzu Banda, said it "salutes" Mutharika\’s chairmanship, saying he "deserves a pat on the back for overcoming competition in form of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi."
"We would like to remind Mutharika that he has a daunting task before him… numerous problems continue to haunt Africa," the newspaper said.
"He has to work very hard in order to make and leave a mark of achievement during his chairmanship," it added.