… Says Asians have bought Limbe depot
Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works Charles Mchacha hurled various obscenities at a journalist investigating the politician’s purchase of public land in Blantyre.
In a recorded audio of the conversation between Mchacha and Nation Publications Journalist Bobby Kabango, the minister screamed various expletives at the journalist. He also called him a “dog” and “monkey”
Mchacha repeated the obscenities several times, challenged the journalist to record the conversation and threatened to confront the Kabango at his office.
“I hurl expletives when I feel I am wronged. I am Mchacha. I do not have ambition to become president or vice president. Even if I become an ordinary person, I do not care because I do my own business,” said Mchacha.
He also accused the journalist of targeting him because he is a black person saying Asians have bought a lot of land in Blantyre including Limbe Depot but they are not questioned.
He claimed that 600 plots have been sold at Kanjedza and persons of Asian origin have built warehouses after purchasing public land in Limbe.
According to a story Kabango wrote on the issue, Mchacha bought Plot Number LW1366 at Limbe West (Kanjedza Forest) in Blantyre City which belonged to the Department of Forestry.
Mchacha who is also regional governor (South) for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) paid K30.5 million.
The offer letter for the land was supposed to be signed by the Regional Commissioner in the Ministry of Lands but the one sent to Mchacha was signed by Minister of Lands Symon Vuwa Kaunda.
Meanwhile, social commentator Onjezani Kenani has described the verbal abuse as reprehensible saying it has no place in a democracy.
Kenani said cabinet ministers should lead by example by expressing their opinions within the confines of civility.
He said: “Clearly, the abusive language aimed at intimidating and harassing the journalist who was only doing his job.
“One would expect Mr. Mchacha – a senior government official – to be at the forefront protecting the rights of journalists. Media freedom is one of the freedoms we fought for in 1994, and it must be the duty of all government officials – cabinet ministers included – to ensure that journalists operate in an environment that is free and devoid of threats to their lives.”