Letter: On trial in Malawi

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The Independent Online
Sir: With the recent jailing of Chakufwa Chihana (report, 15 December) one wonders, in light of UN trade restrictions following Amnesty International's report on Malawi, whether it was a wise decision by His Excellency The Life President the Ngwazi Dr H. Kamazu Banda to allow the trial to go ahead in the first place.

Malawi has always been a model African state since its independence from Britain. It would be a great pity if that were to be sacrificed now by playing into the hands of the very people it wishes to suppress.

Yours faithfully,


Hartley Whitney, Hampshire

From Mr Tony Kandiero

Sir: It is very easy to mislead people by setting opinions that fly in the face of facts; 'Malawi opposition comes into the open' (12 December) runs this risk.

Claims of popularity among the people made by pressure groups in Malawi have no validity or meaning at this time. The government of Malawi has called for a referendum to decide on the country's political future, and to draw conclusions before the outcome of the people's will is absolutely wrong. Claims of popularity must await validation at the polls.

Yours faithfully,


High Commissioner

Malawi High Commission

London, W1

18 December