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Monday, July 15, 2024

Minister Matola Under Fire For Calling Malawians “Achule”

By Iommie Chiwalo

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has called upon President Lazarus Chakwera to act on Minister Ibrahim Matola’s conduct for calling Malawians ‘Achule’.

In a press release seen by this publication, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa condemns in the strongest terms the disparaging and demeaning remarks  made by Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola, who has described Malawians as  Achule (frogs) simply because they are asking President Lazarus Chakwera to walk his talk on austerity measures by keeping his local and international travels to a bare minimum.

Matola calls well-meaning Malawians ‘Achule’ on Monday at a public function presided over by the President in Dedza and to the surprise of many without coming back to his senses after tagging them ‘Achule’, Matola went on to encourage the Head of State to travel across the country as it pleases him.

MATOLA: A Malawi ndi achule

CDEDI has since demanded the President to discipline Matola to avoid giving the impression that now that the electorate has put the Tonse Alliance in power, they no longer deserve to be treated with dignity and the President has no problem with that.

“True Malawians are too forgetful and as former president Bakili Muluzi used to say, but some Malawians still remember that it was the same Matola, who publicly insulted some high-profile official, but former President Dr. Joyce Banda swiftly rebuked him, exhibiting a rare leadership quality virtue,” he recalls.

Adding that by asking President to be the protector of the dignity of all Malawians his organization is not expecting too much from the presidency.

“Therefore, we look forward to seeing him acting desirably, and with speed, without straining further the patience of those who have rightly been offended by Matola’s dehumanizing
‘Achule’ tag,” Namiwa says.

The CDEDI Boss feels that by any measure of reasoning, calling fellow citizens ‘Achule’ is demeaning and such language is uncalled for, especially in a democratic dispensation like Malawi’s.

Matola Must Apologize- Namiwa

“On behalf of all Malawians who value the dignity of a person, CDEDI hereby demand a retraction of this shameful statement, and a public apology from Matola. It is equally disheartening to note that such a word uttered in the presence of the Head of State went unrebuked by Chakwera himself,” he says.

However Namiwa said that maybe Matola is not wholly to blame for using the disparaging word in the presence of the President, considering that Chakwera himself might have set the tone at the weekend when he described Malawians as ‘cry-babies’.

“It is against this background that CDEDI is challenging Chakwera to explain to Malawians if at all insulting the electorate is now part of the Tonse Alliance administration’s policy, as the coincidence of the incidents is too glaring,” he says.

Social media is awash with comments condemning the remarks by Matola saying that is taking citizenry for granted.

 Matola could not pick up his phone when this reporter tried to contact him on what he meant when calling critics “achule”.

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