Minister of Information Gospel Kazako says millions of Malawians have agreed with President Lazarus Chakwera’s monetary pledge to Malawi National Football Team players.
The Minister, in an interview with the BBC, suggested that it is Afrophobia to advance the view that Malawians should not give each other gifts because the country is poor.
Kazako also described as insignificant a question on whether the over K15 million pledged to the Flames will come from the president’s own pocket or from public coffers.
Yesterday, Chakwera offered to give out K1 million each to Malawi National Football Team players involved in the game against Teranga Lions of Senegal if the Flames secure qualification to the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The BBC sought comments from its Facebook followers on the monetary gift and many Malawians thronged the BBC Africa page to defend the president.
In the interview with Kazako, the BBC, however, highlighted the comments from Malawians who questioned the rationale for the gifts when there are various challenges in Malawi requiring money.
Kazako described the negative comments as unfortunate, saying the government feels it is moving in the right direction.
He also accused the BBC of cherry picking the comments to suit its narrative, saying many Malawians on the BBC Facebook Page said that they agree with the president.
“There are millions of Malawians supporting what the President has done,” said Kazako.
He also described as retrogressive the thinking that the gifts are wrong because there are other problems in Malawi. The minister argued that what those questioning the gifts are saying is that Malawi is poor and its people should not be giving each other gifts.
“We accept we are poor but we are not poor to the extent that we cannot give gifts. Giving gifts is part of our culture.
“This story to me smells of some fragrance of imperialism because these things also happen in America and in Britain,” said Kazako.
He added that there is “Afrophobia” coming from the side of the BBC but the Malawi Government feels it has done nothing wrong.
The minister also described as irrelevant a question on whether the money will come from the president’s own pocket or public coffers.
“That is not here no there. This is Malawi money, happening in Malawi and going to Malawians,” said Kazako.
Malawi and Senegal played out a 0-0 draw which has seen the West Africans qualifying to the knockout round of the AFCON as Group B leaders while Malawi are waiting to find out if they will qualify as one of the best third placed sides.