Malawi’s first head of state Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, reviled as a dictator and murderer when he was swept from office in 1994, continue to get political rehabilitation posthumously with President Peter Mutharika honouring him on Tuesday to mark 17 years since his death.
Mutharika, in a statement made available to Nyasa Times, proclaimed Kamuzu a national hero and “a great statesman”.
“Kamuzu Banda will always be remembered for the gallant fight as a Destroyer of Federation (D.O.F) and Malawi’s first post colonial ruler,” said Muthaeika.
The President said Kamuzu laid great foundations for the prosperity of Malawi.
“The four cornerstones of Unity, Loyalty, Obedience and Discipline brought together the people of Malawi for the purpose of developing this nation,” said Mutharika.
Kamuzu’s party MCP still advance the four cornerstones policy.
“The enormous infrastructural development foundations he laid for this country remain a challenge for all us to do even more,” President Mutharika pointed out.
Mutharika joined the Kamuzu family and the entire Malawi nation in remembering “this great son of our soil.”
There was no mention of the jailing and torturing of opponents, which helped keep Banda in power for 30 years until domestic and external pressure forced him to make democratic reforms.
Memories of those human rights violations have tended to fade, replaced by an image of Banda’s rule as characterised by stability, food security and self-sufficiency – in stark contrast to Malawi’s current plight.
MalawI Congress Party which Kamuzu led, gains from such a sound record admired by Mutharika as the country continues with scandal gates ranging from Cashgate, NAC-gate and many concerns of governance.
Kamuzu, of the generation of African nationalist leaders that came to power at independence, died on November 25, 1997 at at Garden City Clinic in South Africa at the age of 101.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :