Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has paid special tribute to Orton Chirwa, the country’s first attorney general after independence, as the founding father of the Malawi nation but died as a political prisoner during the MCP dictatorship.
A British-trained lawyer, Orton Chirwa and his wife, Vera, had been jailed since their abduction from exile in Zambia in 1981. They went into exile after an abortive Cabinet revolt against the country’s longtime President, Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
“Orton was and remains the founding father of Malawi nation because it is him who formed the MCP and invited Kamuzu Banda from England to come and lead this country.
“He was selfless and a true hero. Orton came from here [Nkhata Bay District],” said Chakwear at Maganga Ground in Nkhata Bay where he held a political rally together with former president Joyce Banda, former vice-president Khumbo Kachali and other leaders in the opposition Tonse alliance.
Orton Chirwa died in prison in Zomba on 20 October 1992. Aged 73, he had been imprisoned for nearly 11 years for non-violent opposition to the MCP autocracy.
At various times during his imprisonment he had been kept in leg irons and much of his imprisonment was spent in solitary confinement.
His wife, Vera, is still alive and very old.
Chakwera, who quit the pulpit as head of Malawi Assemblies of God in 2013 to join frontline politics, said it is time to heal about the past atrocities and have a new Malawi that has bound together nine political parties in an electoral ticket branded Tonse Alliance.
He promised to make sure he honours men and women who died in the struggle for freedom once voted into power at the forthcoming presidential election.
Chakwera pledged that he will ensure that if elected, his government will institute a brand of servant leadership that promotes national development and universal respect for the law and human rights.
The MCP presidential hopeful said he will not ask Malawians to praise him for promoting development in the country as it is the duty of a national leader to govern in a way that promote and safeguard the interests of his citizens.
Other alliance partners in Tonse, include Alliance for Democracy, People’s Progressive Movement, Freedom Party, Umodzi Party and Malawi Forum for National Development.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :