India government officials are refusing to comment on the decision by the government of Malawi to stop the construction of the statue of Mahatma Ghandi in Blantyre.
The Malawi government on Monday ordered a halt to the construction of the Ghandi statue in Blantyre but is not known whether Capital Hill has bowed to increasing pressure from Malawians who feel the statue is irrelevant.
A visit to the place in Blantyre, looked abandoned with only two men loitering around, not working.
An official from the Indian High Commission to Malawi said India would not comment on the matter.
“We will issue a press release at an appropriate time, thank you,” he said.
One of two men at the construction site said the government had issued an order to stop the construction of the statue which drew sharp criticism from Malawians who feel it is immoral to honour and Indian in Malawi when there are many Malawian heroes who deserve such an honour.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Rejoice Chaponda Shumba said she did not know anything, pushing the reporter to Blantyre City Council whose public relations officer Anthony Kasunda said the council only provided the space for the statue and pushed the reporter to ministry of Information whose minister Nicholas Dausi said the council was better placed to comment.
This comes amid reports that an anti-statue grouping has obtained a court injunction restraining the council from going ahead with the construction of the statue.
Some people say it was ridiculous to honour an Indian in Malawi when Indians in the country look down upon ordinary Malawians and do not socialize with the locals as they socialize with people whom they do business with.
Some sections of Malawians say the Indian community treat Malawians as slaves as they give Malawian workers little pay with harsh working conditions.