Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima’s showmanship and political posturing during his recent visits to Cyclone Freddy victims have been labeled unnecessary and untimely at a time the country needs sincere empathy to the affected, Malawi Gazette establishes.
The Vice President has been going around shelter camps in Southern Region districts primarily to assess the plight of the victims, a task he has failed to stick to in light of the emerging negative sentiments from the victims themselves.
The camera-seeking politician has been making rounds especially on social media where his troops spend time to prop up his image even on the most trivial of matters.
On some days SKC was seen leaping over small rocks, dipping his boots in marshy waters and sometimes posing for his aides before commencing his stunts.
When Malawi Gazette randomly interviewed cyclone victims in Mulanje, Zomba and Blantyre to get their take on the posturing of influential people, the feedback was similar and in total disapproval of some of the things they have seen.
The Vice President courted most of the negative sentiments for what people see as unnecessary grandstanding on serious matters.
“It was obvious that they had come to make a statement through pictures and nothing else. Chilima’s people kept coaching us on where to stand or how to walk while we escorted him to meet the displaced people. I personally think this was childish at a time like this,” said one official from Mulanje District Commissioner’s office.
Chembenuke Musaya from Manje Township, but currently seeking shelter at Kapeni Demonstration School, questioned why the Vice President kept joking and laughing loudly with his entourage.
“You would think that he came for another issue not our condition. I have never seen a leader laugh so hard while visiting people that are overwhelmed with sorrow. There was nothing we could do but wonder on whether he has manners according to our culture,” he queried.
This version of Chilima’s conduct came consistently in camps across seven of the affected 13 districts that Malawi Gazette visited.
These were the first assignments given to the Vice President after eight months of idleness due to his corruption charges that came about for his alleged receiving of a $280,000 bribe from UK-businessman Zuneth Sattar.