This week Malawi’s government unveiled plans to build a mausoleum in honor of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, the founding president. The self-named, “president for life,” ruled the nation for thirty years with an iron fist. Supporters of the mausoleum say it is long overdue, but opponents say the multi-million dollar graveyard is a waste of money, especially for a country whose people are hungry and suffering from many diseases.
Wisdom Chimgwede, the News Editor for Zodiak Broadcasting In Malawi, discussed this issue with English to Africa reporter James Butty. “I would tell that almost the whole nation is quite excited about this. I have spoken to a number of people, including cabinet ministers, people in the opposition, members of the clergy, including actual members of the diplomatic corps. For example, Minister of Culture, honorable Jaffali Mussa, did tell me few days ago that Doctor Banda was a great man whose achievements are worth emulating.”
The News Editor says he discussed the mausoleum’s cost and Kamuzu’s dictatorial leadership with various Malawians, and they all agreed the late Kamuzu deserves the honor. “They all have the view that Kamuzu deserves it because this is the first black leader to remove Malawi from the bondage of the colonial rulers. The cabinet minister responsible for such construction, Jaffali Mussa did tell me that Kamuzu deserves even more respect than this.”
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