Main opposition, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera on Saturday challenged that the party will not be intimidated, saying he will instead fight along with Malawians for freedoms.
He was speaking at Chilanga CCAP church in Kasungu where former head of state Kamuzu Banda family organized remembrance celebrations for the first head of state of Malawi.
“We refuse to be intimidated by our enemies. We will fight along with Malawians until the country is liberated,” said Chakwera indirectly referring to his traditional political arch rival President Peter Mutharika and his ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Chakwera came a closer second to President Mutharika during the 2014 presidential election so too his party came a closer second to the DPP in the parliamentary elections which pushed former president Joyce Banda a distant third in the presidential race.
The leader of opposition said the MCP will remain strong and will not be frustrated by the party in power, the DPP.
He said it was pity that Mutharika failed to attend the remembrance day of Kamuzu yet the Ngwazi was beyond party politics as he was the first head of state of Malawi as well as father and of the nation.
“I am honoured to be guest of honour at this important function. But I am a party president of the Malawi Congress Party. The head of state should have been here. Kamuzu looms bigger than the MCP. This was supposed to be a national event,” said Chakwera.
He described Kamuzu as extraordinary, saying he was empowering people economically through various economic and financial activities to make them self reliant, saying it was in contrast to present day times when leaders are stealing money from public coffers to enrich themselves and busy enjoying Mapwevupwevu [buffets] while citizens sleep in empty stomachs.
“This is what made Malawi’s economy to grow steadily every year. Kamuzu was an action man, he was a disciplinarian, he reached discipline, he was the man of excellence, a man of standards,” Chakwera said at the function which turned out to be a political forum as both the CCAP Nkhoma Synod clergy and all those who spoke turned their tirade against the DPP led government.
Chakwera bemoaned that Malawi is now beset by numerous problems including tribalism and regionalism.
He reiterated that Malawians should forgive the party if it wronged Malawians during its 31 year old in power.
Among others who attended the function included Minister of Gender and Social Welfare, who is also advisor to the DPP Jean Kalirani, Kamuzu’s long time confidante and aide Mama Cecelia Kadzamira and former Speaker of Parliament Louis Chimango.
Two sided legacy
However, some people took up on social media to blame the government for reinstating the day, saying Kamuzu was a dictator who butchered his own people in order to silence his critics.
They said Kamuzu killed his own cabinet minister Aaron Gadama, Dick Matenje, Twaibu Sangala and MP David Chiwanga for holding dissenting views – the High Court acquitted him on the allegations.
The people noted among the victims of Kamuzu regime deaths included Attati Mpakati, Masauko Chipembere, while Kanyama Chiume and thousands others fled the country during Kamuzu regime when he ruled the country with an iron fist.
However, Kamuzu’s great nephew Ken Kandodo thanked the government for reinstating the day, saying his great uncle did a lot of things for Malawi from liberating the country from the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to massive development spread across the country.
He also thanked the government for reinstating his name on public infrastructures like Kamuzu Stadium, Kamuzu International Airport, Kamuzu Central Hospital and renaming Kamuzu Palace.
The Chendawaka family took the centre stage in the organization of the Kamuzu Day events whilst the Kazombo family, where his father came from, took a conspicuous back seat, openly a sign that the two families are still in conflict, 19 years after the death of the dictator who was removed from power at the ballot box in 1994 by former president Bakili Muluzi and his United Democratic Front (UDF).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :