Kamuzu Day must fall and Freedom Day should be reinstated

Ten years ago, on a day like Tuesday last week, precisely June 14, we could not have spent the day, as usual, at our various working places, working.

Bakili Muluzi votes 17 May 1994 in Ntaja, his home village, in Malawi's  election that brought the end of  Kamuzu Banda's 30 year autocratic rule of Malawi.

Bakili Muluzi votes 17 May 1994 in Ntaja, his home village, in Malawi’s election that brought the end of Kamuzu Banda’s 30 year autocratic rule of Malawi.

Most of us could have been home, or relaxed somewhere, reflecting on the critical relevance of June 14 to the country’s political history.

June 14 1993, we all know, is a day Malawians took to a decisive referendum to publicly reject their long time silent hatred of 31 years of Kamuzu Banda’s dictatorship.

It was a day and year that marked the complete deletion of dictatorship—a historical moment that, with just a vote, summed the collective and shared spirit of how a nation, a people, chose the direction and tone of how they should be governed.

As such, June 14 is a critical day and so critical that, every time it is invoked, it bears testimony to the ideal that power to govern shall always be drawn from the sustained trust and wish of the governed.

It was against preserving such an ideal, with a goal to inform and inspire generations to come, that the Bakili Muluzi government made June 14 a public holiday.

That decision was quite befitting not just to the ideals of human freedom it represents, but also the honour it carries to men and women who took part in ending Kamuzu Banda’s 31-year-rule of death and darkness.

Unfortunately, when Bingu wa Mutharika accidentally rose to the Presidency in 2004, he, alone—charged by politicking not a sense of statesmanship and collective memory—just moved and scrapped off June 14 as a public holiday.

The gravity of that decision by Bingu lies mostly in what it does to our collective memory.

The discourse that emerges is of a nation that values the deeds of one man whose rule, let us face it, left terrible scars on our conscious.

I don’t know about you, but I refuse, with a deep sense of arrogance and protest, such a discourse.

I refuse to let the might and spirit of those that—amid threats, whips, property forfeiture and killings—braved the seasons and voted  NO to continued Kamuzu’s 31-year-rule of ‘death and darkness’, to use the late Chakufwa Chihana’s catchphrase.

Kamuzu Banda, like every subsequent president, was not extraordinary. I argue, and I can write a paper on this, that he was just an average leader with a privilege of having too much power to dictate things to the advantage of himself and those close to him.

If you read the history of the rise of once referred to as a Third World countries, you will note a striking trend. Most of them developed during the policies that were dictated through between the 1970s and 80s.

Kamuzu Banda had all the power and authority to dictate development in Malawi. When a 1993 UN report revealed that Malawians had become poorer than they were in 1964 it was an indication that—despite Kamuzu’s manufactured development consent imposed on Malawians—the true picture out there was that of gross failure.

And he failed.

As such, I submit, as a concerned Malawian, that Kamuzu should not be in our collective memory as extraordinary, rather as just one of the presidents that have ruled Malawi.

It is imperative, therefore, that Kamuzu Day must fall and Freedom Day should be reinstated.

Is anyone out there with me?

Please share your thoughts and I will publish them here, even contrary ones.

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6 thoughts on “Kamuzu Day must fall and Freedom Day should be reinstated”

  1. Winston Msowoya says:

    John might be a confused moron,he is living in an outlandish world.Overwhelming Malawians in diaspora strongly uphold the discontinuation of the fake Kamuzu Day and reinstated with “FREEDOM DAY”,but still,we are not going to forget the 32 years of obnoxious bondage and dehumanizations under foreign-bred rogue Hastings Banda (Richard Armstrong).Chilembwe Day is here stay whether John and fellow detractors like it or not.Furthermore,It is lack of patriotic zeal for John to lower Chilembwe’s status in the national liberation struggle of Nyasaland whose endeavours,rekindled the final onslaught against the British imperialism and colonialism ended up in the formation of Nyasaland African Congress in 1944 led by an illustrious son of Malawi late Levy Zililo Mumba from the North.Candidly speaking,Banda found ANC forging ahead with vigour and vision from South to North,East to West and the colonialists were on the verge of capitulating .By the time the sellout Banda arrived,ANC was a force to reckon with under the leadership of young Turks : Masauko Chipembere,Orton Chirwa,Kanyama Chiume,Yatuta Chisiza,Thomas D.Banda,Dunduzu Chisiza,Pemba Ndovi,Q.C.Chibambo.Banda had little huddles,he found the young leaders had highly and strongly mobilized the masses of our country ready to confront the oppressors head on.All in all,Banda did not suffer in the processes of liberating Nyasaland he just got the leadership like manna from heaven.Afterall,soon after independence,Malawians found themselves playing in the hands of former masters for another 32 years.I would like to stress that Banda did not bring independence to Malawi as misguided John believes.Please John go back to school to learn the history of Malawi otherwise shut up.It is Malawians and their young patriotic leaders who brought freedom to our country and not imperialist puppet monster Banda.

  2. Wakwithu says:

    If kamuzu had some weaknesses, that does not take away his strengths and achievements. Mchifukwa chake ndi maganizo opepera ngati amenewa osafuna kukhululuka, ife atumbuka tizingogwiritsidwa ntchito ngati ma condomu. We need to focus on the future not always crying about the past. Chindere Chakufikapo yimwe…You are being used by people who victimise you alot. you do not know your real enermy…fight for quota system….otherwise, Kamuzu recognised us that these fools…

  3. MKUPHWASIKA says:

    kIkkkkk Mr Nyondo i think mwanva.
    chomwe tkudandaula ife pano nkuti sitidzakhala ndi Freedom Day mpaka kale.
    Chabwino tangoyelekezani kuti lero ndi Freedom Day, mukhoaza kumati chani?
    Nanda poti zinthu zopasa mtendere maso anu sadzazionanso.
    Koma abale inu!!!!
    Ndisakuonenso utalemba zakozi apa, wanikwiyitsa kobasi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. john says:

    IF KAMUZU DAY HAS TO FALL AND PAVE WAY FOR FREEDOM DAY, THEN WE ALSO DONT NEED CHILEMBWE DAY! WHY SHOULD WE HONOUR CHILEMBWE WHO FOUGHT THE BATTLE AGAINST COLONIALISM AND LOST IT AND AT THE SAME TIME FAIL TO HONOUR THE ONE (KAMUZU) WHO BROUGHT INDEPENDENCE?

    TO ME THAT WILL NOT MAKE SENSE.

  5. MKUPHWASIKA says:

    Wagwa nayo zako zimenezo,uzichita wekha,
    Ndiye poti ndimaganizo ako usadande iwe ndi akubanja lako mukambilane kuti muzitani.
    Pano ndiye ku Malawi kuno ndiye kuli mavuto bola kale, ngati mudalikotu panthawi imeneyo.
    Kamuzu day siyidzatha man mpaka kale wanva? kikkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
    Kaya mukudziwa kuti Multiparty system inayambidwa ndi anthu amene ankafuna kudzilemetsa?
    Mwina zimenezi simukudziwa, thats why atsogoleri onse amene akula mula kuchokera nthawi imene ija akhala anthu akuba okha okha.
    Tikanakhala kuti anali ofuna kutukula dziko Man Malawi ndiwa mng’ono pano tili patali.
    Mwachidule ku Malawi sitidzakhala ndi Freedom day mpaka kale!!!!!!!! tizingolira mark my words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Wachabe says:

      Mr.Nyondo izi ndizofunika mukakambilane ndi aku nyumba kwanu ndi ana anu aamuna komanso ana anu aakazi, Palibe angakuletseni kuti inuyo mudzikumbukira tsiku limeneli. Ndikhulupilira kuti tamvanapo pano, ndisazamvetso zimenezi. Why always mukamba na kuchita vinthu vya misala, vinthu vya chinchi. Muchita bwanji imweyo?

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