Kalemba made the remarks when he appreciated the distribution of cash to beneficiaries as a response to the lean season at Phata Camp in the area of Senior Chief Maseya in Chikwawa.
He said the thinking in most people that because they are in villages and they have to be poor should be removed.
“I think the poverty mentality must be dealt with and the people must start to believe in themselves and believe that as individuals they can be able to support themselves.
“We must start to have a mindset that we can support ourselves rather than celebrating 57 years of independence yet we are still dependent,” he said.
Kalemba said as a department they are having a wider range of these discussions with the people so that they are able to move together towards attaining Malawi 2063 aspirations.
On the lean season response program in Chikwawa, Kalemba said he was impressed with how it was going on mainly looking at the kind of beneficiaries who queued to access the support.
“If you look at the people who are beneficiaries, I think you can agree with me that the selection process is correct. There are old women and men and the rest of them have some insecurities in them making them deserving beneficiaries.
“I think the process is going on well and we will continue in that direction until we finish the response period,” he said.
Chikwawa District Council Director of Planning and Development, Thokozile Munthali said the council followed proper procedures in identifying the rightful beneficiaries.
“You know we have what we call Unified Beneficiary Register where names of beneficiaries are drawn from and these are verified right in their communities to avoid irregularities,” she said.
According to Munthali, Chikwawa District has a total of 47,887 household beneficiaries in the lean season response of which 9,979 are benefiting from the Social Cash Transfer program.
One of the beneficiaries, 51-year-old, Nasalina Sandilani hailed the government and the World Food Programme (WFP) for reaching out to her, saying it was like a dream coming true as support received goes towards supporting her household and the education of her children.
The WFP through World Vision Malawi is implementing the Cash Plus intervention in response to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) in Chikwawa which projected that 3.8 million people will be food insecure in 27 districts (except Likoma) and four cities of the country during the 2022/23 lean season (November 2022 to March 2023).