Leader of opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Rev. Dr Lazarus Chakwera on 3 March,2015, visited the families whose relatives suffered during the state of emergency of 1959 in northern district of Nkhatabday and said the struggle for a better Malawi continues.
Nkhata Bay registered 31 deaths in the fight against colonial rule on March 3 1959. The fight was also aimed at pushing for the release of leaders of the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) arrested during a state of emergency.
Chakwera was accompanied by MCP executive members, members of parliament, ward counsellors and ordinary party supporters.
During the visit Chakwera visited the places where epitaphs containing names of slain people have been written.
Chakwera also attended the memorial service held in Nkhatabay to appreciate the role the martyrs played in fighting for the country’s independence.
He said all Malawians should emulate the spirit of patriotism the departed freedom fighters in the country had so that their deaths should not be in vain.
Chakwera said he was overwhelmed that the fighters wanted freedom and independence as a means for securing better living standards for the entire nation and the next generations.
The MCP leader said patriotism drove them into the fight and they never doubted their ability to succeed in the struggle.
Chakwera said he is not happy that after over 50 years since the struggle leading to independence, the plight of the majority of our people has worsened contrary to the dreams and aspirations of the freedom fighters.
“Today our people continue to be exploited, now by fellow citizens, who by using power and positions, abuse and misuse public resources meant for everyone. Today a new click of individuals continues to amass too much wealth at the expense of the majority poor. Where is the change our freedom fighters wanted? What have we done to compensate the families of the freedom fighters including the veterans that are still around?” said Chakwera.
Chakwera said there is need for a new revolution to take this country out of perpetual poverty to perennial prosperity.
The leader of opposition said as Malawi is commemorating martyrs’ day there is need to re-launch the freedom fighters’ agenda.
“We cannot continue to corrupt and being corrupted, we dare not continue to defraud ourselves and think somehow a miracle will save us. We are racing against time and we cannot afford to continue with experimental development programmes that are not achieving results,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera saidthe best way of honoring the freedom fighters, is to attend to the needs of the bereaved families, invest in programmes that aim at achieving economic freedom for everyone, and by serving people with diligence and prudence.
Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe said the freedom fighters died because “they wanted the country to develop. This is why today I am saying every Malawian should strive to do something that will help in the development of the country.”
Said Gondwe:“Let me ask all civil servants, religious leaders, business persons and all Malawians to make sure that they do something for their country and not wait for their country to do something for them because this is the heart that freedom fighters had.”.
Earlier in the day, people visited memorial site where the actual massacre took place in 1959 and while there one surviving witness of the massacre, John Chunda moved the people with his step by step analysis on what actually happened on that material day. The commemoration proceeded to the memorial cemetery at Kakumbi where the 33 martyrs were buried in a mass grave.
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