Malawi government has said ours is not a ‘shithole’ country, rejecting United States (US) President Donald Trump’s remarks calling African nations, Haiti and El Salvador ‘shitholes’.
Government spokesperson, who is also minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi, while he was coy to rebuke Trump, said Malawi is not a ‘shithole’ country and Africa is not a shithole continent.
Dausi could not comment on whether the US ambassador in Lilongwe had been summoned to clarify whether the nation was regarded as a “shithole” country amid global shock that such crude remarks could ever be made in a semi-public meeting by the president of America.
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Dr Emmanuel Fabiano also felt aggrieved.
The US is Malawi’s largest bilateral donor that forks out at least $400 million annually into the country.
The country is also currently benefitting from US’s $350 million Millennium Challenge Account (MCC) investment to improve the energy sector. The ongoing five-year compact is designed to improve the power generation and transmission infrastructure. The compact closes in September this year.
However, Malawi has missed out on a second compact due to poor governance and failure to tame corruption.
Trump has since been branded a shocking and shameful racist after it was credibly reported he had described African nations, as well as Haiti and El Salvador as “shitholes” and questioned why so many of their citizens had ever been permitted to enter America.
The 55-nation African Union said the remarks were “clearly racist”.
Botswana’s government was the first on the continent to condemn Trump’s statements, referring to them as “highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist.
Boniface Mwangi, a well-known social activist in Kenya called on Trump to distinguish Africans from the continent’s political leaders.
“Please don’t confuse the #shithole leaders we Africans elect with our beautiful continent,” he tweeted.
Trump’s remarks were translated in China as ‘countries that suck’ and Greece’s Ta Nea paper settled on ‘thieving countries’.
But Trump didn’t specify which countries in Africa he was referring to.
In South Africa, officials from the government and opposition also expressed outrage.
In a strongly-worded statement, the UN said it was impossible to describe his remarks as anything other than racist, while the Vatican decried Trump’s words as “particularly harsh and offensive”.
Since taking office, Trump has barely mentioned Africa. The main action he has taken affecting the continent is to sharply reduce foreign aid.
But the US Embassy in Lilongwe through its public affairs officer Edward Monster played down any dramatic changes in the support the US government renders to Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :