Lawyer and human rights activist Seodi White courted controversy on Facebook when she posted on her timeline that Assemblies of God president Reverend Dr Lazarus Chakwera who has confirmed he is to run for Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidency has an “irritating” American accent.
Chakwera, 58, has been dominating news after he confirmed that he aspires to be MCP president and lead the party to next year’s general elections.
The respectable religious leader said he believes he has “unique competencies, charisma and character that can more fully represent the new face of hope and the future that Malawians long for.”
But the head of the Malawian chapter of Women in Law in Southern Africa (WLSA), White posted on Facebook about Chakwera’s “phoney” American accent “irritates” her.
The comment, according to White’s observation, got some interesting comments that ranged from humour to annoyance, anger and outright rage.
However, one wrote asking the prominent activist to “remove” the comment, saying: “Seodi we have so much respect for you and now we can’t respect you any longer [because] of your post. Remove it.”
The outspoken campaigner for gender justice shot back: “If I continue expressing myself in the manner I did some people will withdraw the privilege of the respect that they presumably had for me. Let me make it clear, if anyone out there has any form of respect for me for one reason or the other. Thank you. However if that respect that anyone holds is hinged on my inability to exercise the right to express myself, or if the respect anyone has for me is holding me to ransom or based on their need for me to trade off my rights per the Constitution of Malawi, make no mistake people if I have to choose [to] respect and my rights; I think it’s quite obvious that my rights would be my choice. I would make this choice over and over and over.
“Having grown up in a country as Malawi was then where by my rights were suspended for the sake of loyalty, obedience, unity and discipline and a whole construction of ulemu kumpando, I would gladly relinquish your respect for me, for my rights.”
She added: “Reverend, Pastor, President, Prophet, Secretary General or all these portfolios that people seem to cherish regardless. We are all bound by the common thread of our humanity. And yes once again let me say this: Lazarus Chakwera’s phoney American accent is irritating to me and Lord have mercy should he now become MCP presidential candidate. “
Chakwera is American trained faith leader. He obtained his doctorate degree at Trinity International University in USA.
He also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Malawi; Bachelor of Theology (Hons) from University of the North, Sovenga, South Africa and Master of Theology from University of South Africa .
Apart from criticism on his accent, Chakwera is being viewed widely in a positive light for leadership position.
University of Malawi political scientist Joseph Chunga said Rev. Chakwera provides the kind of leadership Malawi needs because most of the current recycled politicians are trapped by old-styled politics.
“Malawi needs leaders who can serve with integrity and who are prepared to part ways with the mindset characteristic of the current politicians. I think he is one of few who are capable of this,” said Chunga.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :