On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Dr. Mark Anderson will speak about his experiences with declining human rights standards in Malawi as part of the St. Johns Public Lecture Series in Philosophy. The lecture is open to all and takes place at the Ship Pub at 8:30 p.m.
As a lecturer at the University of Malawi from 2008-10, Dr. Mark Anderson -- now a per-course instructor in Memorials Department of English -- taught journalism and English. He says that examining the function of the press in a country with only the illusion of a free press was an interesting challenge and that his students were very aware of the lack of freedom and self-censorship in the Malawian press.
Third world autocrats like President Bingu Mutharika are empowered by funding from western donor nations, said Dr. Anderson. In short, they use the money we give them to oppress their own people. Mutharika understands the power of the press; that is why he muzzles it in Malawi.
Dr. Anderson left Malawi in December 2010 due to the increasingly volatile climate. Lecturers have been interrogated and strikes and arrests have ensued. The university is currently shut indefinitely.
As part of his lecture, Dr. Anderson will discuss why countries such as Canada and Britain should review their relationships with Malawi and how they can help to address the dictatorial tendencies of President Mutharika.
My former colleagues, at risk to their own personal safety, were eager to contribute to this presentation, and eager for me to tell this story in Canada, as Mutharika only responds to pressure from his donors, said Dr. Anderson.
According to Dr. Anderson, Canada has provided $445 million in aid to Malawi since 1964 and Britain provides Malawi with $153 million in aid each year.