Government and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials were conspicously missing at an event to commemorate the mauling of 20 protesters five years ago.
Leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera was the guest of honour to the event held on Wednesday in Mzuzu.
The police mercilessly gunned down the protesters who were up in arms against escalating cost of life, former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s increasing arrogance, intolerance and dictatorial tendencies.
Families of the victims said at the event that the government is yet to compensate them for the loss of the spouses and relatives.
They asked the government to speed up the payment of the compensation money.
They said the families and the government agreed on out of court settlement but treasury is yet to release the money.
One of the organisers of the July 20 demonstrations said at the function the police who killed the innocent protesters should come out in the open so that a reconciliation process should immediately start.
Reverend Ian Longwe said Malawi is going through turbulent economic times because of the blood shed by the protesters.
“Those involved in the killing spree should indeed come forward so that they are forgiven,” said Longwe.
In an interview, Timothy Mtambo of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation said the killings is an indication that Malawi is a country that embraced democracy without transformation.
“There is much to be done, we should keep on confronting evil,” said Mtambo.
People laid wreaths on the graves of the victims.
Presidential aide Mavuto Bamusi said President Peter Mutharika had directed the immediate release of the compensation.
“He told the attorney general to look into this. The government has set aside K30 million for this. Only families which have a convincing case that their relatives were killed due to recklessness of police officers will get the money,” he said.
He also said that Mzuzu City Council was told to construct tombstones for the victims.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :