Comedian and actor Michael Usi, popularly known as Manganya, has vowed to soldier on in commenting on issues affecting the nation despite an attack on him during his public lecture in Lilongwe on Sunday.
A group of over 20 assailants threatened Usi and forced him off stage at Crossroads Hotel, accusing him of allowing the audience to comment and ask questions regarding financial plunder at Capital Hill.
They said trouble started after Usi had opened the floor for questions and one of the patrons, who happened to be the “gang leader” asked him why he was allowing people in the audience to ask questions about Cashgate corruption scandal as if the problems facing the nation have not been there all along.
But in a separate interview Tuesday, Usi said he would not be intimated or silenced by such assaults because his lecturers are for the good of the nation and the people of Malawi.
He stressed that he has no personal issues against the incumbent President or any of the presidential aspirants.
One of the women that attended the lecture, but pleaded for anonymity, said Usi balanced well his lecture as he also praised the incumbent President for some of her notable achievements like the demise in the killings of the people with dissenting views.
The lady said what the assailants did only serve to tell the nation that the PP regime is capable of killing people with dissenting views.
Said Usi: “They cannot intimidate me and I’ll not stop commenting on social and economic issues. And it was surprising to hear them accusing me of insulting the President because the debate was about celebrating Malawi’s 50 years, what we have done well and the opportunities we have missed as a nation.”
Usi indicated that during his lecture, he spoke on what the country’s leaders had done for the nation in all the four regimes, beginning with Dr Hastings Kamuzu then Bakili Muluzi, Dr Bingu wa Mutharika and President Banda.
“When I spoke of the first three Presidents, the audience spontaneously clapped hands but when I spoke of the current leadership they refused to clap hands despite my plea to them to do so in recognition of what the [incumbent] President has done,” he explained.
“It wasn’t my fault that the audience did not clap hands. I pleaded with them but they refused,” added Usi.
The Sunday lecture in Lilongwe was Usi’s second after his recent similar event hosted at Comesa Hall in the commercial city of Blantyre.
“In these lectures am looking at several issues without focusing on an individual. I have passion for my country and that’s what inspires me, not political leaders or their parties. Malawi would have been far in terms of development, but at 50 we are still one of the poorest countries in the world,” said the ADRA Malawi top boss.
With plans to go to the northern city of Mzuzu, Usi told Nyasa Times that he also plans to produce DVD of such lectures which will be given to all political leaders in the country.
During the lecture at Crossroads, Usi had hired 20 Police officers for security, who managed to quell the situation, but no arrests were made.
According to some eyewitnesses, the person who was leading the group was wearing an orange neck-tie and were chanting for ruling PP and President Joyce Banda’s slogans.
The ruling PP has since distanced itself from the fracas. The party’s deputy spokesperson, Ken Msonda, was quoted by the local press as saying in the run-up to the country’s May 20 elections anyone can masquerade as a member of the PP to tarnish its image.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :