Government might be serious about the hunger situation in the country but the head of the government thinks it is a joking issue and therefore should be allowed to throw jokes carelessly on the issue, the minister of information Patricia Kaliati has said.
According to a statement from Kaliati, Mutharika decided to crack a joke on the matter of life and death when he addressed a rally at Limbuli in Mulanje in which he instructed people to start eating ‘mice and grasshoppers’ as a way of averting death from hunger.
Kaliati was reacting to the way the media reported Mutharika’s joke. The joke was since met with criticism from various sectors of the society who accused Mutharika of being insensitive.
“The criticism directed at innocent jokes that the President cracked at a recent development rally in Mulanje that people should eat ‘mice’ as part of their food supplement is thoughtless and unwarranted. It speaks of fault-finding of the extreme nature,” reads part of the statement that has been signed by the vocal minister of information.
The statement has worryingly expressed that Malawians are just being obsessed with criticising the President and are thereby taking away his right to joke with his people:
“For anybody to suggest that such a President has abdicated his responsibility of looking after his people simply because he referred jokingly to ‘mice’ as a food supplement is to sink our politics to new levels of pettiness.”
However in an interview with Malawi24, a social commentator Felix Unyolo faulted the President’s remark and the Press Statement.
“The President’s remark are what we call an offside in football, the Press statement however has just made things worse. What are they trying to say, that Mutharika thinks the hunger situation in the country is a joking issue?” asked Unyolo.