President Peter Mutharika is Friday scheduled to unveil a statue in honour of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, erected at Parliament Building in Lilongwe.
Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa confirmed that construction works for the sculpture has been completed.
After unveiling the stature, a memorial service will follow.
Renowned South African sculptor Jean Doyle, who was hired to erect the Bingu statue, also constructed the statue of president Hastings Kamuzu Banda erected at Area 18 Memorial Tower in Lilongwe.
Since the sculpture photos have been circulating on social media, a storm has since erupted over the likeness of the statue; with many airing views that the bronze was not a fair reflection of the country’s former leader.
But experts says a statue is not a picture and that Bingu’s statue is clearly depicting him with his signature gesture to the country that “let the works of my hands speak for me.”
One commented to Nyasa Times: “It is Bingu wa Mutharika it is the best sculptor we have in Malawi.”
Malawians will remember Bingu because he lived, reigned and died in a very remarkable and memorable way.
Through his first term, from 2004 to 2009, the works of his hands spoke of great political and economic success. Even his national and international critics do not dispute this fact. The world could not resist but listen to the new messiah whose works spoke of great tidings of high agricultural productivity and food security, for the once hunger stricken Malawi.
His works spoke of a redeemed Malawi, which was not only feeding herself, but had over a million metric tons of surplus. Bingu works spoke so appealingly to donors who had abandoned Malawi and deserted her as if she were a leper colony.
Donors regained trust and flocked back to Malawi with huge bags of dollars and pounds. The IMF too felt compelled to take a rare decision- in 2006 the IMF wrote-off a huge debt Malawi had incurred, when Bingu was not in office.
In 2006, he through the works of his hands and thorough consultative processes drafted the highly applauded Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) to run for five years until 2011. The MGDS prioritized enhancement of agriculture and food security, education, transport, energy generation, rural development, irrigation and water development, youth development and anti-corruption initiatives.
In 2008, Malawi registered 9.7% economic growth and was rated a fastest growing economy in the world after Qatar. By the following year, 2009, which was the General Elections years, the works of Mutharikas hands had also spoken of countless infrastructure development that spread across all regions of Malawi. Malawians decided to let their votes speak only of their appreciation to Mutharika and heaped on him 66.7% of votes which ushered him into a second term.
The first year of his second term, from 2009 to 2010 equally spoke highly of works of his hands, which now extended cross the African continent. In January 2010, he rose to the Chairmanship of the African Union, replacing the late Muammar al-Gaddafi who attempted to retain the Chairmanship for an additional term. While Chairing the African Union, he called for Africans to develop fellow Africans and trade intensively among themselves.
Bingu implemented the African Food Basket Initiative which prioritized African’s food security, a concept which he had successfully implemented in Malawi. He argued that Africa had the potential to feed itself and the rest of the world.
All of a sudden, things changed in 2011 during the second year of his second term. – the usual final term curse for African leaders when the works of his hands spoke more of struggle than success.
Bingu believed that Africans and of course Malawians could develop domestic policies which could tackle domestic challenges better than imposed policies. He wished above all, that Africans, and Malawians must become masters of their fate.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :