Cyclone Freddy: Malawians scold Chakwera


Malawians have criticised President Lazarus Chakwera over his absence amid the devastating floods in Malawi caused by Cyclone Freddy.

Chakwera left Malawi on March 2 for Qatar where he attended a conference of Least Developed Countries from March 4 to
March 9. He then travelled to South Africa where the government said he was carrying out official engagements.

The Government’s Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services had been issuing warnings for several days that Malawi was at risk of being hit by Cyclone Freddy.

On Sunday night, the cyclone landed in Malawi, wreaking havoc in Blantyre, Phalombe, Thyolo, Nsanje, Zomba and Mulanje. The floods killed about 100 people and destroyed houses, roads, bridges.

The country’s main power stations in the Southern Region were also shut down over the floods.

On social media, Malawians spoke of the absence of leadership and many argued that Chakwera should have cut short his trip in order to provide leadership in this time.

“And the Leader is still outside the country while Cyclone ravages Malawi,” wrote Kondwani Munthali on Monday afternoon.

While Journalist Brian Ligomeka wrote: “Leadership during Cyclone Freddy The absence The Theory The practice The mockery.”

Politician Leonard Chimbanga also bashed Chakwera for not returning home upon the emergence of the cyclone.

“When South Africa was in crisis last year their president cut short his trip to attend to the crisis.

“When Mozambique was in crisis since last week their president Nyusi cut short his trip to attend to the crisis,” said Chimbanga.

On Monday evening, Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba said in a statement that Chakwera is concerned with the devastation brought by Cyclone Freddy.

She added that the president has declared a state of disaster in the Southern Region.

Meanwhile, Chakwera and First Lady Monica Chakwera are expected to return home today from South Africa.

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