A Lhomwe cultural group Mulhako wa Alhomwe has condemned the Backbencher column which appeared in Weekend Nation of February 17 2018, describing it as insensitive to their culture.
The article, titled Of Mutharikas and Tchopanomics, likened the country’s economy to what was known as Reaganomics when the United States of America (USA)’s economy was destroyed by the economic policies of President Ronald Reagan who ruled the country from 1981 to 1989.
But the headline of the Backbencher article did not please the cultural grouping.
Speaking at a press briefing in Blantyre yesterday, the group’s board chairperson Leston Mulli questioned the justification of connecting the country’s economic policy to the cultural dance tchopa.
“We find the article to be offending [sic], insulting and grossly violating cultural sensitivity. We strongly condemn the ethnicisation of Malawi’s economic policies made by the said article.
The columnist, however, explained how he coined the word Tchopanomics.
“Tchopanomincs! Yeah, a term derived from the popular dance of the Lhomwe, a tribal grouping which Bingu [former president Binguwa Mutharika] founded and Peter [current President Peter Mutharika] consolidated by appointing Ngolongoliwa as its Paramount Chief [Mwene-wa-mamwene].
“Tchopanomics is steeped in a strong sense of economic emancipation which made Bingu mess up old-established relations with Western donors early in his short second term (2009-12),” wrote the columnist.
The article said when APM (Peter Mutharika) assumed power, he picked up from where his brother stopped by boasting without evidence that the economy was being well managed without budgetary support.