Malawi Government Spokesperson who is also Minister of Information, Honourable Gospel Kazako has reserved his comment on the missing of senior government officials at the burial of the late Honourable Alhajj Sidik Mia.
The remarks come after one of the devoted Muslims who is also political science lecturer at the Blantyre International University Sherif Kaisi who said Mia was supposed to be honoured by the government and the National Governing Council (NGC) for Malawi Congress party.
“At the Mia’s funeral, there was zero turnout [of top officials] from government and even from Malawi Congress Party, yet we know that Mia was influential and a senior cabinet Minister. Mia has died while serving as a minister of transport but there was no traffic officer or Traffic vehicle controlling the queue (sic) in the street of Blantyre,” he said in a recorded audio which has gone viral in social media.
However, in an interview with Malawi Muslims Official Website, Kazako refrained from commenting on the matter saying that at the moment, they wouldn’t want to comment on anything about the death of the people that occurred due to the pandemic because “we are mourning them”.
“Because we are mourning, we wouldn’t be discussing such matters,” he said.
Nevertheless, the minister said as a government they normally don’t respond to matters motivated by social media “because we know things on social media can be true and can not be true.”
He added: “…we normally attend to matters that have been formally put before us because we are a government of records. When put before us formally, then we can talk about it. However, it should be away from these three days which the president declared as mourning period. Insha-Allah [God willing] we will attend to it.”
Kaisi’s views have brought mixed reactions with some blaming the government while others are saying it could be because the covid-19 related deaths are treated differently.
However, Kaisi still feels Mia deserved better.
“With or without covid is this how Mia was supposed to be honoured after all what he has done to this nation?,” he asks.
Mia, 55, was a key figure in the Tonse Alliance Government. He also helped MCP to have a strong presence in the southern region away from its Central Region stronghold.
MCP Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka has since described Mia as MCP’s “beacon of hope,” adding that both the party and the government has lost, “a humble person who put the national interest ahead of his personal ambition.”