History Of Malawi

How Journalists were Treated at Dr. Kamuzu Banda’s Press Conferences During One Party State.

“…The Press conferences were memorable affairs in which Dr. Kamuzu Banda’s personal bodyguards played a major role. They wore white uniforms with red pillow box-styled caps and their job was to eject from the conference those who might persist in asking undesirable questions. We called them ice cream men.

[One of the press conferences went like this]:

Kamuzu Banda: I have no statements to make to you. I did not even wish to talk to you because you are all writers of lies. It is you who have asked to see me. I will answer questions, but I will not answer stupid questions.

Ian Mills of United Press International: Mr. President, is it true you have received an invitation to visit South Africa?

Kamuzu Banda: That is a stupid question!

Ian Mills: But Mr. President, it has been reported…

Kamuzu Banda: Shut up!

Ronald Legge of the London Sunday Times: Is it true that you are about to announce a cabinet reshuffle?

Kamuzu Banda: That is none of your business!

Donald Wise of London Daily Mirror: Mr. President, do you have a comment to make on the increase of witchcraft in Malawi?

Kamuzu Banda: Dont you talk to me about witchcraft. You are people who burned Joan of Arc at stake!

Donald Wise: But Mr. President, in regard to Malawi’s witchcraft…

Kamuzu Banda: Shut up!That is a stupid question. Get out! Throw him out!

Ice cream men entered, seized Donald Wise by the arm and frog-matched him out. Soon, there weren’t many of us left and the conference ended with no questions having been answered”

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Source: a book ‘Every Meal a Banquet, Every Night a Honeymoon’ by Peter L. Younghusband (2003), pages 280-281.

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