6 September 2018

Malawians Up Against Mahatma Ghandi Statue - Bingu's in Offing

Some Malawians have taken up in radio call programs and social media to express concern over government decision to erect a Mahatma Ghandi statue in the city of Blantyre.

The government is erecting the statue of the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule near the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre.

However, some Malawians feel it is a waste of money and resources, saying Ghandi is now irrelevant to the modern history and more to that, the government should honour Malawians who were involved in similar struggles.

Professor John Chisi, the president of Umodzi Party said Malawi has its own heroes who need honour and recognition.

"There are many Malawians who died fighting for the struggle to liberae this country. There are many Malawians who risked their lives for the love of this country. These people deserve statues, not Ghandi, we don't need Ghandi statue here," he said.

One of the callers to a radio station said there are Malawians like John Chilembwe, DunduzuChisiza, Levi Mumba, Attati Mpakati, Orton Chirwa, among others who need such statues.

"Can India allow us erect a statue of a Malawian in their country? How does the leadership of this country think," says one comment in a post.

But Information minister Nicholas Dausi said the country has a large number of Indians who were involved in the struggle in the country, citing an example of the Sacranie family.

He alsi said Ghandi is a well-respected politician worldwide who needs to be remembered all the time.

The erection of Ghandi statue comes at a time when there is close ties between the DPP and the Indian businessmen with some of them, including Zameer Karim making huge donations to the party.

Karim pumped in K145 million to the DPP, a donation that caused stir as it came after his Pioneer Investments got a dubious K2.8 billion through police food ration deal, an issue which is now in court.

Meanwhile, published reports indicates taxpayers' will have to fork millions of kwacha to finance the statue for the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, which government intends to erect at Parliament building in Lilongwe by December this year.

The statue will be erected in honour of what government terms "Bingu's great contributions to the country's political and socio-economic sectors."

Accoridng to reports, government has engaged renowned South African Sculptor Jean Doyle Artistic Works Holdings Limited, who designed founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda's statue which stands at the Memorial Tower in Area 18, Lilongwe.


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