Malawians ‘reject’ visa-free status to Nigerian Citizen
By Patricia Masinga, Nyasa Times
The debate if Malawi should allow free visa status with Nigeria has hit a common consensus. Respondents to the debate flighted on Nyasa Times has revealed a BIG NO to the proposal made by President Goodluck Jonathan during his recent and first ever visit to impoverished Malawi.
Of over (80) comments on the article titled: ‘Malawi Dabate: Should Malawi allow Nigerian citizens visa-free status?’, only 3 say YES and only 2 seem not decided and give reasons for or against, whilst the rest have sounded a BIG NO!
One comment in vernacular Chichewa says: “Ife atsikana apa Malawi tikuti yes. Tiwone zina Amuna aku Malawi are too too PRIMITIVE. Kaya azitipha tizifa titanjoya!!!!” meaning ‘We girls of Malawi say yes. We want a change because Malawian men are primitive. Whether they will kill us we would have enjoyed first’.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan walks side by side with President Joyce Banda during his visit to Malawi recently
However, many people’s sentiments are laced with allegations that Nigerians are ‘crooks’, ‘corrupt’, and only want to come to Malawi to make money and not share a common socio-development agenda.
“Malawi has got enough of home grown crooks. We don’t want a flood of additional Nigerians who are known for their enterprising crooked brains. No,no,no,” posts one.
He is supported by another reader who shares an issue that took place in Kenya involving Nigerians titled ‘Kenya to switch off ‘fake’ mobile phones’ with the link http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19731514 .
He wonders: “Can our Banana government follow suit please? At first it may look a bit irrelevant but the point is that fakeness can never last. Nigerians are a fraud and we don’t want fraudsters converging in our beautiful country, The Warm Herat of Africa. By the way who will travel to 9ja to meet Boko Haram? This is definitely a parasitic relationship. The question should be that: shld we kick the ussss of all 9jas out of Malawi: the answer is a resounding YES. Maybe she is angling to go that side after retirement to be closer to this man!”
A more sober comment by another reader tries to level the human balance, arguing: “Nigerians are Africans and Malawians are Africans too so why not.”
“There is a reason for instituting visas, and there are also reasons for implementing a visa application procedure. If we can be sure of Nigeria’s passport issuing system, then yes, we can issue them visas in Malawi on entry, however, if there is little we know about Nigeria, then let them get visas before starting their journey.
“During Kamuzu’s time we could travel to most European countries even to Canada without a visa, because we were renown for being uncooked. But now apart fr SADC region, we need visas everywhere. Actually Nigerians need a visa to travel to any other country in the world because of their crookedness,” another reader writes in support of the YES team.
He is supported by another who further argues: “Most of the fear about Nigerians is based on the inferiority complex of Malawians in front of Nigerians. We feel inadequate in terms of business and other issues. Once a Nigerian settles in an area he immediately beats the Malawian businessman. We have always lost against foreigners (INDIANS, CHINESE, LEBANESE, BURUNDIANS) and even Kamuzu had to chase Indians from villages to town. This inferiority complex is the one now making us hate Nigerians because we feel impotent business-wise in front of them. Instead of restricting Nigerians from coming in why can’t we change our archaic, slow business habits. When are we going to compete with others? Is it by keeping foreigners away?”
He is however quickly challenged by another reader who says: “Comment 28!! No one is saying Nigerians should not come to Malawi. Some of us object to the idea of wholesale entry into a country. You complain about the price of visa to enter Nigeria, you are proving our point, Nigerians are crooks, how can a visa cost up to K200,000, unless corruption is involved.
“A lot of Nigerians have Malawian passports, how many Malawians do you know have Nigerian passports? In fact I might go as far as asking, how many Malawians really want to go to Nigeria, apart from Joyce Banda? Malawians want to go south, Botswana, RSA,Namibia etc but Nigeria? Maybe…
“Don’t you wonder why Malawi and Nigeria have never had resident representatives? (High commissioners?) and you want visas abolished?
“I do not think there is anyone in this whole wide world that does not put Nigeria in the top 5 of countries with the most crooked citizens in the world, and you want them to have a free hand in Malawi, because you want to sell them cassava. How sad.”
During his visit, President Jonathan attended the official launch of a cassava production initiative alongside President Joyce Banda.
A more sober reader contributes that: “I have never commented on Nyasa Times and I thought I would never. But the gravity of the issue, I need to do so. Nigerians should need visa to enter Malawi if we really love our country. What Nigeria has done to Malawi to guarantee no visa? We need to assess critical the benefit of doing so. I think that’s why Malawi is poor and yet it has resources. If you go to Israel, China, Japan,…… name them, the first questions will be related to are you a Nigerian?
“What do you make out of that. Am not saying Nigerians should not come… they should come but they should apply for visa first. What is so special with Nigeria now? We should not sell our country because we have no forex. Let us love Malawi, the warm hear of Africa?” he advises.
Another strongly puts his/her foot down, alleging that: “These people want to enter freely in Malawi so that they can fraud Malawi Passports to travel to UK for their dirty business to give Malawi bad name; NO = ndakana, NO;ndakanitsitsadi, NO; kwam’tuwagalu.”
Lastly, for an interesting conclusion on the matter should perhaps be the following comment.” I like the unity displayed in the comments against Nigahs. We need to stand proud and not allow these opportunists to sell us short. Malawi united we stand!”
There are a number of Nigerians already resident in Malawi and conducting business, most of whom are blamed for rising corrupt practices, crime and social disorder involving marriage breakages.
But there are also those Nigerians that are held in high esteem including those pursuing religious ministry across the country.
Nigeria’s Jonathan visited Malawi for the first time from Sept. 10 to sign two treaties during a two-day official visit to Malawi. Foreign Affairs Minister Ephraim Nganda Chiume then said: “These are treaties on trade and the economy and exchange of human resources,” adding there were about ten treaties Malawi and Nigeria were set to sign by the end of the year “but the two were ready for signing now while experts are still fine-tuning the rest.