Cleric rips Bingu dictatorship at July 20 commission

Rev Mezuwa Banda showing the July 20 commission a live bullet

Reverend Mezuwa Banda of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia said at the July 20 Commission of Inquiry that only colonial government killed their people and not those in the multiparty dispensation.

“Whoever ordered the killing of those people on July 20 last year must be out of his mind. Life is a God given gift and should not be taken away like that. That was very unfortunate,” Reverend Banda said when he testifies on Wednesday.

Banda was initially not part of the 41 people expected to appear before the Commission but in a revised list released on Tuesday, he was included.

The Commission, which is sitting in Mzuzu, is getting testimonies from the public on what transpired during that day, specifically trying to find out what lead to the looting and arson and the subsequent death of nine people.

Northern Region Police Operations Officer Isaac Maluwa in his testimony on Monday reiterated several times that Harry Mkandawire, Mezuwa Banda, Loveness Gondwe and Yeremiah Chihana were responsible for the deaths, looting and arson that happened in Mzuzu.

“I went there because the event was heavily publicised and I was also responding to the national appeal. And also because I was told the injunction had been uplifted. Otherwise I could have not participated in an unlawful event,” the Reverend said.

Banda also took swipe at the DPP led government saying it must learn to be a listening government and engage its citizenry to solve some issues.

“The demonstrations only show that there was communication breakdown. Government must also learn to engage with its people before things get nasty. A government that listens to its people will earn respect,” he said.

On July 2011, mass demonstrations against unemployment, high food prices and fuel shortages in the southern African nation resulted in the deaths of 20 people.

About eight people were killed from gun shots in Mzuzu while only one was confirmed to have died because of suffocation caused by teargas.

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