Dzuka Malawi: Of German ambassador’s remarks not being headmaster for Malawi

Ich bekenne, Ich habe Faible für Deutsch. (No translation will be provided). Yes, I have good knowledge of German. I admire Germans. I like German cars, beer and of course the hard working, time conscious and brutal honest culture among Germans.Dzuka Malawi

But Herr Woeste reminded me of why diplomats need to be moved around. They stay at one place, they start they think better than the rest of the people. So apart from admiring the German people, today I wish, on behalf of Malawians to respond to this diplomat who said something about “Not being a Headmaster for Malawi.” The title today simply tells the German envoy, that nooooo Herr Botsch after, you choose yourself to be our headmasters.

Anyway the beer festivals are about to start in German, perhaps the Envoy was doing rehearsal for his summer holiday, that he might have forgotten that himself, just like the other diplomats from Western Governments appointed themselves headmasters for Malawi.

The Germans have been good friends of Malawi for years, we have had a good technical assistance in many vocational schools including TEVETA, democracy and governance and even educating Malawians in German. Most German Ambassadors did not behave like British High Commissioners, who for some colonial reasoning believe they have adequate capacity to lecture Malawians on how to develop the country.

The truth be told, Malawians have done everything donors have told them. Dr. Kamuzu Banda’s regime was rated as a star performer for the structural adjustment programmes, another of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank experiments to Africa. We were number one to listen to donors for many years, today we rank bottom near number one to most failed economies.

Unfortunately after looking the other way when Dr. Kamuzu Banda was chasing Jehova’s Witnesses, butchering Malawians and proudly bragging that “meat for crocdiles” it took a Malawian Chakufwa Chihana and the Catholic Bishops, not the Diplomats from UK, USA or Germany to awaken multiparty spirit the sleeping Makwelekwele in Johannebsurg streets or Mabulandaya in Harare woke up and stopped the lion.

Enter multiparty, Britain becomes voice of conscious for Malawians. How naïve. They feted Banda, invested in his economy and looked away when Malawians cried, because many of their kind found Malawi as a holiday destination and a stable one that war fighting Mozambique or socialists Zambia and Zimbabwe. To confirm this British Airways flew straight into Lusaka, Lilongwe and Harare, the same with the UTA the predecessor of Air France.

Back to the Germans. The last time I saw a real German committed to Malawi was Dr. Voker Monikes, he was a Director of GTZ Democracy. People and institutions like Dr. Peter Magolowondo, Kizito Tenthani and Centre for Multiparty Democracy are the legacies of this great German. He had passion for democracy consolidation, he funded decentralisation and spoke of human rights for all with support for Human Rights Commission and other governance institutions.

We never heard of a donor set up Tilitonse Fund like the DFID attempt to influence Civil Society and alongside National Democratic Institute of the United States of America, the funded direct citizen participation programmes and empowerment that gave a generation of activists worth their names. Everyone knew the Germans were the best keepers of our democracy. Nobody even among activists bothered with the British.

The nearest to Dr. Monikes, has been the Nowergians especially Ambassador Absjorn Eidhammer who has done two tours to Malawi. These are diplomats we remember for fostering democracy in Malawi with passion and open their mouths where it is necessary.

The US Ambassadors or Diplomats include Roger Meece, Lisa Vickers and Public Affairs officers like Benjamin Canavan are remembered in the same breath as those of 1993/1994. They came at the right time and served their countries greatly.

In the UK missions High Commissioner Finelyson and deputy Dr. Chris Wright and many of British Council Directors are even remembered in villages. In UN agencies only Dr. Natalie Hahn who was there in 1995-1996 is hold as one of the greatest UN diplomats in Malawi and a few UNDP resident representatives.

I can remember German, Norwegian and even American names and Biritish names of diplomats from my head with correct spellings because for Herr Woeste to know, these did not behave like headmasters. They behaved like diplomats and friends of Malawi.

Friends when one is wrong do not go on top of the mountain to chastise them, they do it diplomatically (if you know what the word means) and push and push until they change.

The so called CABS donor groups, which started at the instigation of UK and EU supported by IMF and World Bank has become a platform for gossip and planning against the people of Malawi. Our democracy might not be perfect, but our donors, especially individual diplomats seem to have issues beyond what Malawians themselves chose.

DPP, PP or UDF might have not been perfect regimes, but our constitutional order and democracy allowed us to have them, as imperfect as they may be. Looking at the UK today it is a joke it is failing to suspend Tanzania aid or South Sudan aid or Mozambique aid at the same rate they did with Malawi’s budget support, just because they have minerals.

So when the diplomats decided to tell us how to vote in 2009/2014, when they decided to police our bedrooms and force us accept homosexually with Herr Woeste invoking God fearing mantra, when they decided to speak out every turn on every issues, that is the time the self-anointed themselves as our headmasters.

The Americans event sent a gay envoy to tell us how to live. Everyone knows that our Budget template is done and sent from IMF headquarters and targets agreed by IMF, UK, USA and German are the largest shareholders apart from France of that IMF club which has never found a solution for any country.

So Headmaster Herr Woeste, nobody appointed you our headmaster, you and the rest of hip hop diplomats like Micheal Nevin self-appointed headmasters for Malawi. Our third budget without your input or dime or pound or deutschmark (oops gone now Euros) is irritating you so much. We will not collapse as a nation, you have taught us how to survive, now your advice and talking’s sounds hollow.

My Malawi is awakening, we don’t need donors who tell us how to have sex, we need partners who help us to grow our economy and independence. Dzuka Malawi, you know you are on right direction when self-appointed headmasters like Herr Woeste start rejecting their own making.  Herr Woeste next time please join Malawians in singing “Ich habe kein Problem” or in Chichewa “ine nilibe pulobulemu.

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Both the ambassador and dzuka malawi are to certain extents right. To agree with german ambassador malawi mainstream media and pp govt including mps treat donors as gods. Everything donors say they rush to do, they rush to ask for donor opinion, they are scandalized when someone contradicts donors– so in a way malawians have and headmasters of donors. But in another way disks is also right because donors have this superior attitude and feel they know what is best for malawi. Tricky situation but the answer lies in malawi being self-sufficient and only then can malawi engage with other… Read more »

I like this type of thinking, flow of ideas and patriotism. Dzuka Malawi

Jon Maken

Mmmmmm! So you “respond on behalf of Malawians”? We have ourselves to blame man. Your bellicose verbal diarrhoea is unwarranted. We probably need to be called out more to jolt our warped national psyche!


I think our government should repeat what Bingu did a few years ago because some of the so called Ambassadors are becoming big -headed in the belief that the present government is toothless and yet they caused very serious atrocities in the world in the 1900 and by nature are sadists. To hello with their ambassadorial pride. What can the Germans tell us to do other than the British? The World suffered in 1914 because of Germans, so why lecture us on how run our own affairs? Stupid.


kikkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!eti mpaka kukalowa ku chipinda?
Oh shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alfred Minjo

Thank you Dzuka Malawi, this is a very good article…Let the self acclaimed headmasters hear. Bingu sanalakwitse kuthamangitsa some of these headmasters

Peter Chimangeni


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