Aford irked by Kaliati’s ‘anti-north’ hate speech

Alliance for Democracy (Aford) says recent outbursts by the Minister of Information and Civic Education Patricia Kaliati on September 19, 2011 accusing northerners of creating political instability in Malawi by organizing mass demonstrations constitute hate speech and pre-empts genocide.

“Kaliati needs to be schooled that civil disobedience is a moral weapon in the fight against injustice,” Aford said this in a statement released on Monday and signed Chairperson for Elections and Campaign Dan Msowoya.

“She must know that the July 20th national action revealed how deeply entrenched and widely spread are the disenchantment and despondency in the people caused by the DPP led government,” the statement said.

Kaliati: Hate speech

Aford has since demanded an apology from Kaliati “against people that are resolute in their culture.”

But Kaliati told Nyasa Times that she cannot apologise for saying “the truth” but declined to elaborate more.

Msowoya said the Minister knows that Civil Society Organizations organised the July 20th countrywide demonstrations to draw government’s attention to a number of issues that were raised in their 20 point petition.

“And for her to accuse northerners as the initiators and organizers of these demonstrations is pure bigotry premeditated and deliberately unleashed to indicate a clandestine and fatal state agenda to stifle national unity and alienate a people,” Msowoya said.

Aford said it is not the first time Kaliati has deliberately attacked northerners.

“She has repeatedly raised issues against northerners. She has incessantly castigated northerners for possessing mansions in the Southern or Central regions and not in the north.

“But her memory and wisdom seem to have failed her to recognize that northerners built the south, so too the centre. To the contrary, at no time has any northerner said anything malicious against the southern or central colleagues. It is therefore a one sided affair,” Msowoya said.

Recently a local civil society group, National Elections Systems Trust (Nest), also asked Kaliati to apologise on her remarks.

Nest programme coordinator Unandi Banda said Kaliati’s statement is a form of segregation, discrimination, regionalism and divisive of a nation, arguing that Section 20 of the Constitution forbids any form of segregation on the basis of colour, tribe, religion, political affiliation among others.


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