Malawi government spokesman Nicholas Dausi has come under intense fire for a racist remark he made to an official of renowned South Africa-based social political organisation Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (Osisa).
Osisa official Nevelin Gabriel had presented a corruption report which showed that Malawi still remains one of the countries with highest corruption.
This did not go down well with Dausi , who said Gabriel perceived corruption in Malawi as high because he is white and Malawians are black.
Dausi, who is also Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, charged: “ Osisa should withdraw this report, as it has insulted the Malawi Government and its citizens. I think [these are] racist and apartheid findings [The report] is derogatory to the the office of the President.”
However, this has not gone down well with Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) which has asked Dausi to apologise after Osisa became increasingly concerned with the minister’s remark.
CEDEP Executive Director Gift Trapence said it strange that instead of responding to the issues in a civil and sober manner, Dausi attacked the person heading OSISA on the basis that he is white .
“This is very shocking and barbaric to say the least. Such comments do not have their place in a modern democratic dispensation. Infact, we wish to point out that different professional institution for instance World Bank and IMF have provided technical advice and pointed out some social ills ever since times immemorial to Malawi but nobody has attacked them on the basis that they are headed by white individuals,” said Trapence in a statement made available to Nyasa Times
Trapence added that they have for times without number condemned the selective approach employed by the DPP government in tackling the corruption like recently, “our country moved from position 112 to 120 on the corruption perception index.”
“All these are indicators that corruption is rife in Malawi and the OSISA report has just vindicated the same. Instead of responding to such issues, Dausi employed tactics of Machiavellian politics and committed a fallacy of attacking the person and not responding to the issues. As CEDEP, we find such conduct not befitting a cabinet minister and let alone an official government spokesperson.
“What the Hon Minister should understand is that, as the Minister of Information, he is the official spokesperson of government. This means whatever he says and comments in public in his official capacity as a Minister is taken as the official position of the government,” reads the statement in part.
CEDEP has also called upon President Peter Mutharika to take this as a wakeup call for it is high time he began appointing people into cabinet and other senior government positions whose integrity is beyond reproach.
The government spokesman on Wednesday refused to comment on the matter, very rare for talkative Dausi who comments on each and everything that comes his way.