Mixed reactions on Chimulirenji: ‘Malawi can have a VP with poor English’

Commentators  have reacted  with mixed feelings  on reports that President Peter Mutharika’s running mate Everton Chimulirenji can barely read and speak English fluently, a prerequisite of one to perform well especially in the high office of the Vice President.

Everton Chimulirenji: Picked as Mutharika’s runningmate

Social commentator Stanley Onjezani Kenani writing on Facebook stated that of many criticism levelled against Chimulirenji, he disagrees with that he is incapable expressing himself grammatically correct in English.

Kenani, a writer of great repute, said  he never minds that Chimulirenji’s sentence construction in English is worse than a Standard 2 pupil’s, that even a speech written for him he cannot read.

“I disagree with this criticism because English is not our language. Failure  to speak or write it properly should never be a yardstick for leadership.

“We have our own languages, Chiwecha, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Tonga,  Nkhonde etc. If he had problems speaking any of these, the concerns would have been legitimate. But Englissh? Hell no.”

Also commenting on the post, private practice lawyer Tamando Chokotho wrote: “Speaking English is not qualification for the vice-president. It is a qualification for MPs to speak and read well enough to follow and participate in the proceedings of Parliament.”

But one Winner Chawinga said Chimulirenji can enrol with a night school for English lessons, saying “it’s not too late for him.”

Further, Kenani shared a rejoinder from Thandie wa Pulimuheya who argues that Chimulirenji’s poor Englihs i s a problem  becasue in his particular case it is indicative of the level of education he has acquired.

“You cannot  rule out a basic education as a requirement for the VP role. An intelligent puppy remains an intelligent but useless puppy until it is trained.  Chimulirenji isnt your typical case of ‘he doesnt know English but he is clever’ fella. He is worse. He is neither clever nor knowledgeable and hasn’t been appointed for any discernible skills in anything,” Thandie wrote.

She continued the former president “[Bakili] Muluzi spoke broken English but he wasnt daft on top of that.”

Added she: “You only need to listen to even Chimulilenji’s Chichewa speeches. He has no ambition to lead the country,  just to serve Peter Mutharika in eternal gratitude. He doesnt need English for that!.”

Thandie pointed out that clever non English-speaking presidents exist all over  the world but they have gone through an education fit for leadership in their own countries.

“That education is delivered in the educational language of those countries. Our education is delivered in English. Until our education is delivered in Chichewa, [then] English will always determine who is fit for leadership and who is not. Whether  one agrees with this or not is a different debate.”

In Malawi the law states that a Vice-president takes over as the Head of State if the office of Presidentfalls vacant by resignation, incapacitation, impeachment or death.

The revelations about Chimulirenji communication inabilities started emerging in 2014 when an aspiring candidate in Ntcheu North East constituency Joseph Malingamoyo, challenged Chimulirenji’s victory after the 2014 elections.

According to affidavits filed in court for the case, Malingamoyo claimed that Chimulirenji did not qualify to be a parliamentarian ‘because he cannot take an active part in parliamentary proceedings due to his inability to speak and read English well enough’.

Malingamoyo also claimed in the case that Chimulirenji presented his brother’s certificate to deceive Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and alleged that Chimulirenji also used the same certificate when he was elected as an MP in 2009.

He also said Chimulirenji failed to make any contribution in the National Assembly throughout his tenure from 2009 to 2014 because of language deficiencies.

 

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Academia
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Academia

Had you known TACIT KNOWLEDGE, you could have stopped blaming the FAMOUS MAN at the moment, Chimulilenji, Smith, (2000)

President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza
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President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza

Idi Amin made funny decisions because he was not educated. He was a standard seven guy. He ruined Uganda to the fullest. Next is Baba Zuma who was a std 5 guy, at least he spoke English, but he left SA economy close to down. With these premises let us not have uneducated VP

President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza
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President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza

Problem is not English but to have a daft person as VP is an insult to the Nation. if we have thorough research the presidents are were not educated like Idi Amin made funny decisions not even fit for watchmen. Mind you Idi Amin was a std 7 graduate. After experiencing rubbish in the Name of uneducated president, Uganda introduced a first degree as a prerequsite even for one to be in the Parliament.

Mangochi kabwafu
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Mangochi kabwafu

Theft

Ecclessia
Guest
Ecclessia

So if the President is incapacitated how do you expect him to address situations which need the English language? Zabodza zimenezo Onjezani Kenani. Are you also from Ntcheu kapena? You are a smart guy but you have goofed on this one…..

Noxy
Guest

English is a second language to us it shouldn’t be a worry at all,if he could not speak Chichewa that could be a worry as he would be deemed a foreigner.I have been raised with my Mom who cant speak English but am not different from anybody.But I don’t think Chimulirenji is speaking very bad English.

CitizenX
Guest
CitizenX

Most of you people are missing the point with this dpp
running mate. the main problem here is that this guy is not educated therefore he can not bring positive change to these big problems we have here in malawi. and secondly here can he be delegated international meetings what will he do there???? lets not be stupid a malawi, the fact is this guy is just not VP material basi. we have too many big problems here that need President and VP altmost attention.

nick
Guest
nick

and you are fuvken writing tht on social media , letting people especially kids know that you don’t need good education to lead a country, or be art of trsnformation of a country from a poor country to a self reliant developed country which can compete in the international forum……

Ntengo wa Kesia
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Ntengo wa Kesia

By denigrating the future VP on the basis of alleged incompetency in the English language is truly a sign that some of us are still mentally colonized! Wow. Our priority should be in his skills to communicate with the masses, whose command of English is debatable too. Ever wonder why the debates conducted in English during our elections cycles are inconsequential? The answer is blowing in the wind: It is simply because majority of Malawians don’t even bother to follow the debates; English not being the mother tongue, most of us cannot follow an argument in that language for more… Read more »

Khumutcha
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Khumutcha

The next thing we will see will be that Malingamoyo will be silenced, by the powers that be.