Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who is leader of UTM party, is winning plaudits for condemning political castigation by one of the political orators George ‘Sesa-Sesa’ Saonda made at a political rally in Chikwawa on Sunday.
In remarks broadcast live on Times TV and Zodiak TV, Saonda attacked Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and his deputy Muhammad Sidik Mia, saying a “pastor” and a “sheikh” have teamed up but their political relationship is not righteous as it won’t last long as cracks will emerge soon.
But when he took to the podium, condemned the remarks by Saonda.
“I should respond directly to the remarks that have been made here that a certain sheikh and pastor will bite each other. This is not right and, if I don’t say it now, it would look like we agreed to make this statement. As leaders, we should be sensitive.
“I am sorry if what was said on this podium has offended anyone, this is not the aim of this rally. The aim of this rally is to present policies. I am hopeful that in future my fellow senior members will choose their words carefully,” Chilima said.
And on Monday at rally at Khonjeni Primary School Ground in Thyolo, Saonda personally apologized for the remarks.
“I want to apologize for the words I uttered yesterday. Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima corrected me saying we should not speak as these other parties do and I apologize,” said Saonda.
Concurring with Saonda’s remarks, UTM Secretary General Patricia Kaliati hailed Chilima for taking a board step in condemning the remarks.
And University of Livingstonia social and political analyst, George Phiri, said by condemning the foul-mouthing right at the rally, Chilima has set an example and demonstrated the character of a good leader.
“Chilima demonstrated courage and this is the approach we need,” said Phiri.
He said politicians should learn from Chilima to adopt issue-based politics.
Ernest Thindwa, a political science lecturer at Chancellor College—a constituent college of the University of Malawi said when party zealots go astray, they need to be condemned there and then as Chilima did.
“Unfortunately, not many political leaders are that courageous to make that stand,” he said.
Thindwa said other political leaders should learn from Chilima to practise politics that is competitive in terms of ideas.
Malawi’s flagship newspaper, The Daily Times, has also used it editorial comment to commend Chilima for condemning Saonda’s remarks, which it pointed out were unnecessary unacceptable and uncalled for.
The paper commends Chilima for owning up to his party loyalist’s mess , cleaned it up publicly and set matters straight.
“Such boldness reflects good leadership and urge other parties, including the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, to learn to censor their loose cannon and stock to pertinent issues,” reads the paper’s editorial comment.
The paper reminded leaders that many countries have plunged into ethnic conflicts due to reckless remarks.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :