It’s not a joke. Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika means his word by saying people should eat mice to cope with a nationwide food crisis as on Friday he retaliated his call during political meetings in the estern city of Zomba.
President Mutharika recently told hungry Malawians to eat mice in a bid to curb the scourge of hunger that had hit the nation.
His remarks at Mulanje where he addressed a political rally caused an immediate backlash, with some Malawians claiming that Mutharika was being offensive to some religious groups who did not eat mice.
Government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati in an attempt to put a possitive spin, said President Mutharika was simply cracking a joke.
Kaliati, who is also Minister of Infomation , said the criticism following Mutharika’s utterances could only be described as “thoughtless”.
On Friday, Mutharika maintained that Malawians should make a meal ot of mice but clarified that in Mulanje he did not mention grasshoppers (Zitete) but meant Zitchetche (yams).
Speaking at a at Matawale in Zomba, Muthalika said “on the issue of hunger that the traditional leaders have said, my government will do its best to deal with it.”
“I should also take this opportunity to clarify what the media reported in my last week rally. I did not say eat zitete (grasshoppers) but zitchetche which means yams in my Lomwe language,” said Muthalika.
“Ena mwa inu makutu anu samva bwino, what I said is that Malawians should eat sweet potatoes, cassava, mice and yams and you have to quote me in right context today,” he added.
According to Muthalika eating of mice is very deeply entrenched in the traditions of the Lhomwe people.
“I don’t know about other parts of the country but to my area mice are a delicacy and I had it yesterday during my dinner,” said the President.
His remarks contradict Kaliati’s statement that Muthalika wasn’t being serious.
Malawi is currently in the grips of a food crisis following drought and the president declared a state of national crisis earlier this year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :