Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga and Chitipa has denied that he used the slur ‘fools’ to describe government critics.
Kyung reportedly used the term a on the podium last week Sunday during the official opening of Karonga stadium.
He told civil society organisations in the country to stop attacking President Peter Mutharika’s government and start providing solutions to the country’s problems. He went on to describe detractors of the government as fools.
But addressing a news conference over his alleged use of the word, Kyungu acknowledged to have used tough language but denied the crude remark.
He directly attacked the Daily Times newspaper for publishing the article on 31 January, 2018 and is demanding an apology and retraction from the publisher.
“I categorically refute the claim and I demand the recording of the clip; and if anyone of you has that clip, let it be played here before I proceed or after this press briefing.
“I also demand an apology from The Daily Times reporter who wrote that article and a retraction of the article with immediate effect if they do not produce that clip to me,” he said.
Kyungu said the remarks were taken out of context by some ‘unprofessional journalists and misguided people.’
He said the newspaper reporting his direct quotes borders on “character assassination, creating hate, anger and even with possibility of physical elimination.”
Kyungu said:“I never said government critics are fools. I did not, I could not and I will never make such an irresponsible statement because I was one of the exiled Malawians who fought for multiparty democracy in this country; and I know what it means to be in a multiparty country.”
However, Nyasa Times and other journalists present at the Sunday function can vouch that Kyungu used the term ‘fools’ but he is ashamed after being criticized by many Malawians including the youths from Karonga.
Speaking to Tuntufye community radio reporter, Times Group Editor-in-Chief George Kasakula said they will not apologize as they have the recorded clip.
“We are not apologising. In fact, we have a clip on what he said on that day. He said all those who do not have eyes to see and appreciate what government is doing are fools. Who are these people he was talking about,” wondered Kasakula.
Kasakula said as a traditional leader, Kyungu should learn to be very careful when making his statements during government functions like the official opening of the stadium.
Kyungu was swiftly condemned for his remarks, with many — including Weekend Nation newspaper columnist Suzgho Khunga, youth activist Steven Simsokwe — calling him or the comments anti-democracy.
In the column, Khunga wrote that Kyungu is an educated man, a former civil servant and lately one of the many traditional leaders who have handed over their senses to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government.
”In a way, it is not Kyungu’s fault that he feels the need to align himself to political masters not the people that he represents. The god-like reverence that the nation holds people like Kyungu have turned them into the people that they are, that they can never do wrong and whatever they say holds,’ reads the column.
The columnist conclude:”The era of traditional leaders that stood for the people, at the point of death no less, went with the original Gomani, Katumbi and Mmbelwa. The likes of Kyungu and by extension Lundu and others are in it for the money and every word that comes out of their mouth has kwachas or a board chairmanship attached to it.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :