Some families of the victims of the 20th July, 2011 anti-government demonstrations against the leadership of former president late Prof. Bingu wa Mutharika have expressed concerns with the delay in constructing tombstones at Zolozolo Cemetery in the northern region city of Mzuzu for the 21 victims who were killed by police.
Nine of the 21 victims were buried at the cemetery.
During the commemorations of the demo victims in 2012, former president Joyce Banda who became president following the death of the then Malawi leader [Mutharika] promised to build tombstones in order to provide a descent resting place for the departed souls.
Three years down the line, nothing has materialized a development that has not pleased the affected families.
“It is painful that people make promises and do not fulfill what they promise. You can feel pity if you go and see where my husband was buried. The place has grown so bushy that I have agreed with other families that we should go and clear the place. This is so shameful” said Mirriam Msuku a wife to one of the victims King Msuku.
But Banda through her spokesperson Tusekere Mwanyongo defended the move saying she made the pledge in her capacity then as the president and now that she is no longer holding the position is not responsible to complete the project.
“May you ask those in government now if they can continue with the project. Now Dr. Joyce Banda is not the president. That question is irrelevant” Mwanyongo is quoted by the Sunday Times dated 31st May, 2015.
Commenting on the same, Church and Society Executive Director Moses Mkandawire distanced his association from the promise of constructing the tombstone claiming the former president made the promise on her own.
He however called upon the bereaved to be patient enough as they are to launch negotiations with the current government to finalize the project.
Meanwhile, the Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa has given a green light to the idea saying only if the former head of state made the promise in her then capacity as the then president; the current leadership is ready to complete the project this is according to the Sunday Times.
About 21 Malawians died during the July 20th 2011 national wide demonstrations in protest against formed leader President Bingu wa Mutharika as the country was in economic crisis.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :