The High Court in Blantyre has stopped Blantyre City Council from erecting statue of Mahatma Ghandi, former Indian leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India.
The ruling follows an application by two Malawians, Pemphero Mphande and Mkotama Katenga Kaunda, of the Ghandi Must Fall Movement, who asked the court to make the decision on grounds that erecting the statue could be an insult to Malawians, saying Ghandi is well known for racism remarks.
The court has ruled this in line with the arguments that the movement made about the alleged racist remarks that Gandhi made about Africans.
The claimants, argued that Ghandi was not a Malawian hence no need to be honoured with a statue in Malawi.
They also argued that he (Ghandi) was a racist who is on record having called black people Kaffirs which is a derogatory term of the equivalence of “negro”.
In its ruling the court said “Blantyre city council violated the right to dignity of them and all Malawians who didn’t want the statue according to section 19(1) of the constitution of Malawi.”
Further, the first defendant, Blantyre City Council is to pay costs. This means there can’t be the statue of Gandhi in Malawi.
Wonderful Mkhutche, one of the members of the movement has stressed that they feel the court has sent a strong message to issues of racism and respect for human rights.
In his remarks, Mphande warned office bearers that Malawi is not for sale adding that the current generation is ready to fight.
He the urged the youth to be brave and their voices will be heard.
‚ÄúLet this be a warning to office bearers that Malawi is not for sale and that our generation will fight. And a lesson to the youth that if we are brave, our voices will be heard. It is all our duty to ensure that Africa and Malawi is safe from imperialists and neocolonialists. We have to promote our culture and history for future generations,‚ÄĚ Mphande said.
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