Goodall refuses to apologise on ‘presidency not for babies’ slur: Malawi youth say remarks a provocative

Finance minister Goodall Gondwe, who is also the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president has refused to apologise over his remarks that the youth are babies and lack experience to govern this country.

Goodall Gondwe with Malawi vice president Saulos Chilima

Network for Youth Development executive director Gift Numeri said Gondwe’s remarks were an insult to the majority youth therefore he needed to make a frantic apology to the youth.

President of Malawi Law Society Mwiza Nkhata said the law provides 35 as the minimum age for anyone to be the President of Malawi.

“Section 80 of the country’s Constitution provides for 35 years so anyone, whether Chilima or anyone who is over 35, can be the President otherwise the rest are party issues,” he said

However, Gondwe said he did not insult the youth of the country, saying what he did was to quote former president Kamuzu Banda.

“What should I apologise for? I was just quoting Kamuzu Banda, that is all,” said Gondwe.

Gondwe, who will clock 82 this year, made the remarks during the opening of a meeting of senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials at Katoto Secondary School Hall in Mzuzu on Wednesday

His  remark comes amid a heated debate ignited by former First Lady  Callista Mutharika That President Mutharika, at 79, would be too old to carry on as President as he would be 84 years old at the time of leaving office in 2024, if re-elected next year.

Callista has suggested that Vice-President Saulos Chilima was better placed to lead the DPP in the 2019 elections, a call that has caused huge political whirlwind in the ruling elite and its supporters and has potential to divide the party.

Numeri said if the DPP aged officials are arrogant, the youth should come out in large numbers in the 2019 election and vote for their fellow youths.

“The youths should stand up and vote for their fellow youths,” said Numeri.

Youth and Society executive director Charles Kajoloweka said Gondwe’s remarks contradict what President Mutharika has been preaching about on youth empowerment.

“Goodall has served his country for a long time. We don’t want our leaders to be wheel-chaired in offices when there are competent young people around to take over. DPP should not forget that the majority of voters in the country are young people,” Kajoloweka said.

Kajoloweka said Gondwe’s slur “seems to be an expression of a frustrated old man who does not want to leave the stage and would want to stick to it by providing such a justification.”

He said: “If you get such sentiments from senior leaders like him, you begin to think that that is the language within the party. Such sentiments stand against youth empowerment, encourage discrimination against young people and should not find space in our democratic society.”

On social media platforms, most of the youths have castigated the DPP top notch, most of whom are aged or ageing, for holding a news conference to prop up Mutharika as the DPP torch bearer for the 2019 elections.

At least 73 per cent of the people in Malawi are aged between 17 and 30.

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12 Comments on "Goodall refuses to apologise on ‘presidency not for babies’ slur: Malawi youth say remarks a provocative"

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Have ever been asked by Gondwe to apologise for calling him SEKULO. NONSENSE


Have ever been asked by Gondwe to apologise when you call him sekulo

Listen and Love


Hon.Goodall Gondwe one day you will be answerable to this nonsense you are saying now. Don’t apologize our vote will make you apologize. I know you are too old to apologize. Your comments are kicks of a dying horse. Hurricane Callista is coming. Watch the space very shortly you will what you never expected to hear. APM is not greedy like you. APM prove to these greedy and pompous folks that you don’t think like them. For the good of the country Saulos Chilima can continue your work APM nobody else. Who else can lead DPP? Only may be Bright… Read more »
Tenzi Mzungu

Malawians are funny people. If DPP is clinging to old people vote for the young candidate period otherwise why making a fuss here? Now I wholly agree with Gondwe that govt is not for babies. What is our constitution saying about presidential candidates? Learn to read don’t just rush into wishing to get higher posts. Follow the process. I thought you had a youthful candidate in 2014 why didn’t you vote for him?

Dipipi wa Yudiefu

GUDO, (Goodall) is baboon in Shona and this man looks and behaves like one now. If he wants to keeps the little legacy left in him he should depart today.


The youth are saying the old should go.and when the old say the youth are babies.the youth say its an insult,provocative etc..all ages are equal important in any’s Mai e to think that certain aged are not useful in any society..check the age bracket of Japan,you will see what am talking about..its not about age.its about morals that build a better society..the youth are there because the old cared for them,the ok are still perfomong because the youth are able to do things as they are e erergetic.they use the wisdom of the old as well.

Pimbisa Ambwiye

Funny when people who are not DPP are supporting Hurricane Callista. It just shows that it is a foregone conclusion that DPP will rule again!

concerned citizen

DPP should draw a lesson from what happened in Zimbabwe. Kukakamila mpando kufuna mpaka adzafere pompo koma zinthu zisakuyenda bwino for the majority.The old people where did they learn how to run government. Politicians don’t run governments. Technocrats in ministies are the ones who give direction to politicians on how government is run.

Timvê ziti

It takes a man to say sorry

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