Lilongwe city council has given permission for a peaceful vigil to demand the Indian government to rescind its decision to erect a Mahatma Ghandi statue in the country.
Spokesperson for the anti-Mahatma Ghandi movement Pemphero Mphande said the vigil is to be held this Friday at the Indian High Commission offices in Lilongwe.
The council has told the movement that no procession would be allowed, saying all participating people shall travel by two coasters to the vigil place.
“Vigil to be held on a space outside the embassy building. The approximate number of people participating in the vigil is 50,” says the council in a letter.
The council also says the movement shall provide 10 marshalls for security and they shll wear red and black.
“No embassy business should be disturbed in anyway. You shall provide movable toilets on the day of vigil,” says the letter.
The council says the vigil should start at 9 am and end at 5pm.
The High Commission has rescinded its decision to erect the statue on an open ground at Ginnery Corner, saying instead, it will erect the statue inside the conference centre it intends to construct in Blantyre.
Jimmy Kainja an academic at Chancellor College says Malawians who have done tremendous work deserve a statue, but not an outsider like Gandhi.
“I don’t think as a country, Gandhi has any stake in us – you could extend that to Africa,” says Kainja. “Gandhi may be seen as a hero from a different perspective but not from Africa and the black African perspective.”
Kainja actually says that many young people throughout Africa are starting to question historical events.
“Several African governments have faced the pressure from young groups of activists who begin to re-read or understand history from a different perspective,” Kainja explains.
Richard Mathankie, a student of communication and cultural studies at the same University of Malawi believes that thegovernment should have taken a stronger stance.
“As a country we have the power to say no,” Mathakie says. “If we say yes, it will be like we are just receiving anything without thinking of what will be the negative impact.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :