Musician-cum-politician Lucius Banda has distanced himself from an image of himself carrying Vice-President Saulos Chilima currently trending on Facebook.
The image, also called a meme, is a direct reference to remarks Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe made last week that the youth “babies” are not suitable to vie for the country’s presidency.
The minister’s remarks followed former first lady Callista Mutharika’s observation that President Peter Mutharika, 79, would be too old in 2024 when he would be leaving office should he be re-elected during next year’s tripartite elections.
In a Facebook post, Balaka North legislator Banda (United Democratic Front-UDF), who also disclosed that another meme of him carrying Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi has been making the rounds on social media “yet I know nothing about it”.
In an interview, Banda said he was pushed to comment because of the meme’s connotations, considering the recent political developments.
“It puts me in awkward position to be responding to him on such a matter. Of course, the picture in question is like a cartoon. However, I have a feeling that someone wants to divide us the youth and I know, all youths, across the board, are not pleased with that statement,” he said.
Commenting on the rise of memes on social media platforms in Malawi, social media enthusiast Jimmy Kainja says the trend shows how keenly people are following issues.
“People are being engaged on important issues like politics through memes on social media. Like the meme of Banda and Chilima is very politically sophisticated which shows that people understand what is going on,” he explained.