Bingu statue at Malawi parliament draws mixed feelings

People have expressed mixed feelings with reports that govenrment is constructing a statue at Parliament building in honour of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika.

Bingu wa Mutharika

Bingu, the ex-World Bank economist turned politician, died after a cardiac arrest on April 5 2012.

The Bingu sculpture was done by renowned South African sculptor Jean Doyle’s Artistic Works Holdings Limited, who designed founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s statue which stands at the Memorial Tower in Area 18, Lilongwe.

Nyasa Times understands the Mutharika monument will be like that of Kamuzu.

However, people have expressed mixed feelings  on the decision to erect the statue in honour of what government terms “Bingu’s great contributions to the country’s political and socio-economic sectors”.

TimesTalk phone-in programme on Times Radio on Thursday, many people did not oppose to the statue as was the case with  Mahatma Ghandi of India whose bust in Blantyre drew the public anger.

However, some people expressed reservations on the site for Bingu’s statue, with others saying it could have been near Kamuzu’s Masoleoum.

One contributor identified as Mr Mapanda said it was wrong to spend millions on Bingu statue, saying he ended being “more autocratic and intolerant of criticism.”

Mapanda said pro-democrcay hero late Chakufwa Chihana deserves nation’s honour with a statue.

Apart from Kamuzu Banda, government has on several occasions announced plans to construct a mausoleum for the late Chakukwa Chihana. But despite the many pronouncements on Chihana’s mausoleum, there has been nothing on the ground for years now.

Many others said Bingu, the “economist-in-chief” should be remembered for the positive things he did while ruling the country.

Sources within government estimate that the statue will cost taxpayers in excess of K120 million, including travel expenses for government officials and family members who have been supervising the work.

Others commenting expressed reservations that taxpayers should fork millions of kwacha to finance the statue of the departed president in the current prevailing economic conditions.

When Nation on Sunday  newspaper first broke the news on the statue, opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) described the decision to erect the statue now as a sign of mixing priorities at the time government is struggling to finance its own budget.

Minister of Information and Communication Technology who is also government spokesperson Henry Mussa said all is in order for the statue at Parliament.

“It is justifiable to mount it [the statute] around Parliament precincts, as this is a symbol of honour to the late Bingu wa Mutharika for the unprecedented infrastructure development which the country gained because of his bold decision to shift Malawi’s diplomatic ties from Taiwan to Beijing, China, in 2007,” Mussa said in quotes reported by Daily Times.

President Peter Mutharika, who is also Bingu’s brother,  privately  visited the site at the National Assembly  last month.

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Tchuma
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Tchuma

This is insane… That guy does not deserve a statue whatsoever. We have people who like the Alton Chirwa’s, Chilebwe and the like are the ones who really deserve such…. Malawians must wake up… Next mudzamvanso kuti enawa popeza amangitsa Liwonde bridge komanso ka nseu kulilongwe akufunika tiwamangile statue….. However that money has to be channeled to important issues affecting our nation on daily basis. Ie. Protecting people with albinism or school blocks. Cry my beloved country

Mangochi kabwafu
Guest
Mangochi kabwafu

Why?

Hatton
Guest
Hatton

Was Kamuzu not autocratic? Why did MCP and Mapanda not oppose the erection of his statue and the mausoleum? I feel people are too much obsessed with Chihana as a fighter for multpartism in Malawi. His name in that fight must not be mentioned without mentioning Bakili Muluzi, unless such respect is an exclusive right for the dead. Parliament premises is the right place for Bingu’s statue. Parliament building was the very first project of Bingu’s boldness demonstrated in switching diplomatic ties from Taiwan to Beijing. Bingu’s portrait needs to be on one of Malawi’s banknotes and so are Muluzi’s… Read more »

stupid
Guest
stupid

Messed up priorities! DPP is so desperate to win they are throwing everything but the kitchen sink hoping something sticks

kupepedza ma fano
Guest
kupepedza ma fano

We will bring down as fast as you put it up!

Mwayamba zibwana!
Guest
Mwayamba zibwana!

…..and Tax Payers are paying for this, why can’t we redirect resources to protect our brothers and sisters with albinism

Dagobert
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Dagobert

Why not putting the statue of this guy in front of a filling station, as a memorial on all this hours we spent lining up for fuel?

Ndata Albino Auction Floor
Guest

We need schools and hospitals and not zowumba za mbava ngati iyi. Dpp ikuchita zoyipa including kupha Anthu osalakwa with a condition called albinism. I don’t like the term. It’s ism and schism.

Moya
Guest
Moya

If you have already paid for it simply go and put it at ndata farm on his mausoleum or at the MUST University! As a nation do we need this statue? The answer is NO.

Nyusensi
Guest
Nyusensi

We will bring it down in 3 months