Northerners demand UTM distances itself from Helen Chabunya statements against Netball Players

By Wadza Botomani

There has been growing calls from Malawians especially originating from Northern region that Saulos Chilima and UTM should come in the open and distance themselves from the remarks made by one of their own , National Executive Member Helen Chabunya.

UTM national executive committee member and close aid to Vice President Saulos Chilima, Hellen Chabunya, has come under intense fire for insults and tantrums against people from the northern region she posted on Friday on  her face book wall.

In the post, she blamed people from the northern region of nepotism simply because they have been picked to play for the Malawi National Netball Team, popularly known as the Queens.

Hellen Chabunya

Chabunya attached her sentiments to a screenshot of the Queens line up at the ongoing World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa.

Chabunya first attacked Peace Chawinga before taking a dig at Laureen Ngwira, Towera Vinkhumbo, Grace Mwafulirwa, Takondwa Lwazi among others.

“Their coach is Chawinga, look at the surnames. We can’t be pointing fingers only when it is the Chewas or Lomwes. This is Tribalism,” wrote Chabunya who is also a close aide to party president Saulos Klaus Chilima.

Coincidentally, Chabunya’s anger with Northerners comes at the back of UTM’s poor showing at the recent local government elections held in Chitipa, Karonga and Balaka.

UTM candidates performed miserably in all the three wards where MCP won the Northern Region seats while United Democratic Front scooped the seat in Balaka.

Chabunya is a failed politician who once wanted to contest as councillor for Lilongwe Chigoneka Ward with one eye on becoming mayor of Lilongwe City.

Upon being rejected by Malawi Congress Party during nominations, she jumped ship to UTM but still failed to realize her dream.

To make matters worse she also failed to make the cut for any public position when Tonse Alliance won the 2020 Fresh Presidential election.

Her post, which was later taken down, has offended people from the Northern Region who have labelled her remarks as divisive and careless

Chabunya has so far responded, claiming his earlier post was misunderstood and that she has never been tribalistic

“The misinterpretation of my earlier post & it’s weaponization is a reflection of a society that needs safe spaces to address the deep rooted scars from the evil that is tribalism.
I have stood up for federalism, spoken up against quota system & other issues I believe in.
I have celebrated & supported the Queens and many other Malawians making strides in different fields because they are Malawian first and I will continue to do so.
I have stood up, pointed out & campaigned against tribalism & nepotism when it was perpetuated by any government or sector in Malawi (past or present).
Never have I experienced the bullying, castigation, threats, harassment & seen the joy, zeel & excitement of people who were waiting for an opportunity to attack me like today. It was also good to see friends & strangers reach out & engage constructively on the same.”