Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has said this year it will observe April 6 dubbed ‘Chihana Day’ quietly in honour of Malawi’s hero of multiparty democracy Chakufwa Tom Chihana.
Aford calls April 6 ‘Chihana Day’ in remembrance of April 6 1992 when Chihana walked into the den of lions when he landed at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) and openly did the unthinkable. He challenged the entrenched Kamuzu Banda’s 31-year-old autocratic rule under the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Effectively, he put into motion, with others, a movement that saw the feared MCP regime crumble; hence entered into the annals of history as one of the founding fathers of Malawi’s multipartyism.
Chihana died in June 2006.
Aford said this year the day falls on Easter Monday and they would observe it quietly.
“There will be no special commemorations but it will be observed,” said Chihana’s son Enock Chihana, who is Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president and member of Parliament (MP) for Rumphi Central Constituency.
Meanwhile, Chihana’s tiny grave in the city of Mzuzu remains a desolate, abandoned site despite earlier government promises to erect a mausoleum befitting the fallen trade union, human rights activist and served as the country’s second vice-president.
The administration of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika pledged to construct a mausoleum. And after Bingu’s death, his successor, Joyce Banda also said the structure would be built.
But now the grave has a faded Chihana portrait hanging under a falling roof, marked with untrimmed flowers, overgrown grass, and heavy dust settling on the unguarded grave, conjuring an eerie image, especially at night.
The grave stands in mockery of the state-of-the-art national mausoleum befitting a former Second Vice-President.
Minister of Information, Kondwani Nankhumwa said government has since submitted the drawings and the designs of the mausoleum on how it should look like to the Department of Economic planning and Development “to evaluate everything”.
Former president Bakili Muluzi in 2014 donated K1 million (about $2 000) towards the upgrading of the grave site of Chihana.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :