D D Phiri bitter with newspaper columnist Zeleza Manda: Claims defamation

Renowned Malawian author and historian Desmond Dudwa Phiri (D.D Phiri) has said Levi Zeleza Manda’s commentary titled ‘Which D.D. Phiri?’ that appeared in Weekend Nation of April 4 2015 borders on “defamation” and “malice”.

DD Phiri

DD Phiri

In the commentary, Manda stated that D.D. Phiri claim to an expert in too many fields and that his views on compensation for the 1959 Nkhata Bay massacre were influenced by a bribe from the British.

“If Manda has evidence that I was in touch with British authorities either before or after my article was published, he should tell the public names of those I was dealing with,” Phiri challenges in his D.D. Phiri Column titled ‘Response to Levi Zeleza Manda’.

The historian concedes to have written on variety of topics which suggest that “I am knowledgeable in a variety of fields”.

“Is it possible for one person to write articles on a variety subjects? Is it possible for one doctor to treat patients suffering from a variety of illnesses such as malaria, wounds, coughs or leprosy? To both questions, I say yes, provided his or her education and training have prepared him or her for all these diseases.

“I am an economist because I hold a University of London degree titled Bsc (Economics). The degree programme was divided into two parts,” claims Phiri in a column which appears in Weekend Nation’s sister paper, The Nation.

Part one of the degree programme, according to him, a student had to take six compulsory subjects; principles of economics, applied economics, economics history, political history, government (political science) and history of political ideas (philosophy).

“The student also had to take two optional subjects. I chose sociology which included psychology and English law.

“It is this background that enables me to write articles on a variety of topics. The same background has enabled me to write 20 books on a variety of themes, fiction and non-fiction,” says Phiri.

The gist of Phiri’s article from which Manda quoted was that government should not assume responsibility of demanding compensation for the Nkhata Bay massacre because during the past 50 years, the British government has given Malawi “millions if not billions of pounds in aid”.

“This, to me, is compensation enough. For the Malawi government to demand further compensation would be ingratitude. I am not opposed to relatives of the victims hiring a lawyer and approaching the British authorities privately,” says Phiri.

He says government should just concentrate on development which will benefit the nation.

“The rest of what Manda says shows he confuses matters. People of Nkhata Bay were shot by white soldiers from Southern Rhodesia which has been self-governing since 1923. These whites were not taking orders from Britain.

“In quoting the case of charles Taylor, Manda shows ignorance of the law. The International Criminal Court (ICC) arrested an individual for committing a crime.

“The ICC did not demand compensation from the Liberian government on behalf of the victims,” challenges Phiri.

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25 thoughts on “D D Phiri bitter with newspaper columnist Zeleza Manda: Claims defamation”

  1. masa masina says:

    leave the old man alone. let him write as much as likes.

  2. masa masina says:

    It should not be the Malawi government suing the British for shooting innocent people in Nkhatabay. This case should be handled by a private lawyer representing the families of the people who were massacred in Nkhatabay.

  3. MSANA WA PETURO says:

    Bwana DD Phiri apa pokha mwapala. I am disappointed with you. Do you want to tell us that Nyasaland was colonised by Southern Rhodesia?

  4. honey comb Chidyauzu says:

    The argument that the white soldiers came from Southern Rhodesia is laughable. Who was
    ruling at that time. They came on the invitation of the British colonial masters. DD Phiri
    we respect you very much but surey yo cannot be able to comment on each and every topic and expect to be collect.

  5. kbraen says:

    Mr DD, u r a good writer someone I respect, but on this issue; it jst showed me how lame u r. I knw why u r writing this. NB is in Northern and NB is always said to have troubled pple. The fact is u r too old, maybe ur mind is retiring. Start considering to be a old bby sitter for your grand children.

  6. Blessings says:

    Azungu akuyenera kupereka chipepeso chifukwa mpaka pano akutizuzabe.

  7. Shawa says:

    Atleast kantima kuufitifiti.

    Poti Nkhata Bay is part of North Malawi nde ……koma anakakhala akumwela or pakati.

  8. Future Watcher says:

    Well- Well- well, Both of the two writers are entitled to own opinion. And both of them may not be right. Those of you jotting your comments were not even there during the time. Kodi akuluakulu akamakuuzani nthano Namati -kalekalero, munkatsutsa? D.D Phiri and Manda ndi anthu oti akudziwana bwino-bwino Weniwake. You can see they are argung with facts… Continue guys to write good.

  9. Wanangwa says:

    Please do more research on this matter otherwise you are confusing the nation.

  10. Think Tank says:

    was the British flag not flying in Nyasaland on that day? Who was Armitage and John Block representing? Why were independence talks held at Lancaster House in London? Why way the British flag lowered and Malawian raised at12 mid-night of 5-6 July,1964?

  11. Old Eyes says:

    Umdala, hamba uphumule Elangweni

    1. Old Eyes says:


  12. Tobiyasi52 says:

    A Dudwa Phiri, basi kapumeni mwakalamba.

    What were the “White soldiers from Southern Rhodesia” doing in Nkhata-Bay? Of course they were hired as mercenaries by our British colonial masters as part of reinforcement. For this reason, the British government needs to take responsibility of the atrocities committed by their hired mercenaries.

  13. Innocent says:

    Madala mwakula kapumeni,muzafa ndimaganizo oti mulemba chani,because mfundo zayamba kukuthawani

  14. chivunde says:

    britons are very rude I wish we were colonized by the French ….let them pay the compasation baxi.

  15. zonzo chonde says:

    Nyasa you didnt put the whole story as in the paper.So to your readers its difficult to make informed decision he continued to say alot of pipo were killed across malawi eg zomba kodi amalawi onsewa sadzafunanso compesation thats why he asking govt to keep quite to avoid problems from other tribes whose relatives were also butchered.

  16. popapo says:

    D.D. Phiri has grown on the lack of research and reading culture of Malawians. Sometimes I read his writing or comments to be totally out of sense. I remember in the early 70s Tony Mwenifumbo who was a very learned Malawian always criticised the comments and writings of D.D.Phiri. When Tony fled the Banda regime into exile in Sweden, D.D. Phiri has had the liberty of misinforming Malawians big time. Compare the story of 3rd march incidences by a Man from Chilumba and his story of the same by D.D. Phiri. He should rest otherwise people will no longer hold him high as it were.

  17. MIKE DULIRA says:

    I salute these two writers and more especially Levi Zeleza Manda.
    on this, i swallow my comment.

  18. Then we should press the zimbabwe government to compensate the victims’ decendants

  19. sayimoni bayisikolo says:

    Aid has nothing to do with compensation.Why did the kenyans get compensation for the Mau Mau issue despite Kenya being one of big recepient for the british Aid.Mr Phiri has really goofed on this despite being a scholar of prestigious London School of economics.

  20. Malawiano says:

    ada Manda a Zeleza…alekeni a mudala apume bwino.

  21. Kokotowa says:

    Mother Fucker Jones, did you read the article?

    It says the pipo of Nkhatabay were shot by soldiers from Rhodesia therefore we should claim compensation from Mugabe!

  22. Issa Kabudula says:

    If both Mr. Phiri and Manda are writers, other issues must be made on the private discussion especially if mwasiyana maganizo – we learn from these two writers, either false stories in the form of fiction/real stories based on the truth, why fight due to lack of agreement?

    Lets learn from today that we can agree to disagree on disagreeable issue – and life goes on. That is the reason why we do have many political parties with different unfirms, colours and ideologies and so are the supporters of these parties, every one feels good on her/his side of the party.

    Stop this infighting now – thanking for reading this comment.

  23. MF Jones says:

    I think D.D. Phiri has got it wrong this time. To say that the British should not make any compensations because of the aid that they have been giving us is ludicrious.

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