Your Excellency, President Vladimir Putin.
Your Excellency, President Xi Xiping.
We know it is not common for you to get communication form average Malawians. We, however, urge you to read on.
We are members of the most successful African exploratory expedition in modern times, led by our indefatigable Prof. Dr Joyce Befu, MEGA-1. We write to request a donation of a total 40 million of Covid-19 vaccines to cover all of Malawi’s 20 million citizens.
As former British servants and subjects, our attention has been biased towards the West and Western vaccines. But, recent studies published in The Lancet and other medical journals, indicate that Russian Sputnik V and Chinese Sinopharm vaccines are as efficacious (over 90 percent) as Pfizer-BionTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and other Western vaccines.
This is why many countries in Latin America, Middle East, and Eastern Europe have not been beholden to geopolitical biases and procured almost all types of vaccines to ensure their populations are quickly covered.
Our country has decided to use the AstraZeneca vaccine donated through the United Nations Covax facility. And we are extremely grateful to all those who pooled resources to purchase the vaccines for us.
But, the 1.5 million doses promised to land in Malawi by the end of February this cursed year are far below what Malawi needs and we believe our government is merely feeling ashamed to beg.
As the Tonga of Malawi put it, kajipemphe wanguchira ku Marambo, ndipu vikazanga wangwachifwa. Begging saves human life.
President Putin, we are aware that your country does not like making noise about donations. For instance, when Malawi was in the throes of hunger, your government sent planeloads of grain which was offloaded from military cargo aircraft at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, witnessed by a former minister of Internal Security. There was no fanfare.
Before we decided to become a multiparty and impoverishing State, our government used to send people to train in the Soviet Union, but like all good and honest givers, your country rarely made noise about what it gave out. So, kindly consider our plea and send us the requested 20 million doses of Spunik V vaccines or part thereof.
The people of Malawi want to live long so that they continue being overtaxed.
If our government refuses to receive the vaccines, send the batch to Villa Ulongwe International Airport in Mozambique and we will drive there to be jabbed.
President Xi, you have always been a friend of Africa. Many useless critics say your government is using aid, call it bilateral assistance, to colonise Africa. Ignore these Western-inspired colonised critics because they think they are clever when all their thinking, their manner of speaking, their manner of dress, and their manner of eating smell of vestiges of Western colonialism.
Your Excellency, your government has not hidden its agenda for Africa. China-Africa policies are clear. We know them because we have studied them. Africa has raw materials but low and slow raw material transformational capacity. China has the technology but less raw materials. China teams up with Africa to produce food for export to a ready market, that is, China. Africa teams up with China to improve African infrastructure, technical, technological, and human resource capacity. Africa wins. China wins.
Your Excellency, your policy does not impose any infrastructure on African countries. African leaders choose what they deem is good for their individual countries.
Kenyans chose an improved rail system from Mombasa to Nairobi, approximately 500 milometre, so that people and goods move faster to the interior of Africa, including Uganda, DRC, Rwanda, and South Sudan. And China gave it to Kenya. Today Kenyans are well pleased in the railway as they are able to travel between Mombasa and Nairobi in less than four hours, half the time they took previously.
Malawi chose a sports stadium, a parliament infrastructure, and a new university of science and technology and we got what we wanted.
Yet one self-styled China-basher, Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), Professor of Stand-Up Comedy and African Mockery, says the stadia that we asked for across Africa were dumped on us.
Ignore him and listen to us. We plead for urgent donations of Covid-19 vaccines.
We love you,
Alhajj M. Jean-Philippe LePoisson, SC (RTD)