JB inaugurates 2013 Poppy week: Donates K1.5m to Malawi world war veterans

President Joyce Banda has launched the 2013 Poppy week with a call to the nation to support the Commonwealth Ex-servicemen of Malawi (CELOM).

Speaking at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre, President Banda who is the patron of the group, said she is aware that the two World Wars caused great devastation and brought untold suffering to humanity.

“As a nation we should be proud that our courageous men and women offered their services to help bring an end to these devastating wars,” said the Malawi leader.

Banda noted that while the nation honour those that lost their lives, it is also important to pay homage to those that are still living by contributing generously through the Common Ex-Service League of Malawi (CELOM).

President Banda poses with CELOM officials
President Banda poses with CELOM officials

President Banda made a personal contribution of K1.5 million  to CELOM and 290 bags of maize.

The President assured the War Veterans that she will make sure that they live a decent life.

Currently, there are no more soldiers who fought in World War 1 which took place from 1914-1918 but those thought fought in the Second World War which run from 1935-1945 and are still alive are totaling to 29.

In his remarks, Chairman of the Commonwealth Ex-service League of Malawi Major General Namwali thanked the President for her endless effort in making sure that the War Veterans  are well looked after.

Namwali said the President support since she took office has eased the challenges the veterans face in their daily lives.

Poppy Day is commemorated internationally on second Sunday of November. It was started in 1921 and the proceeds from the sale of Poppy flowers’ are used to support ex-service members and their families who struggle with physical, psychological or financial problems.

In 2011, late Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika said during the poppy week launch that he wanted a probe to find out if Britain compensated Malawi soldiers who fought in the two world wars under UK’s Kings African Rifles.

Fast Facts

  • There are currently 29 War Veterans living in the country’s Barracks.
  • 500 War Veterans live in the villages across the country.
  • This year’s Remembrance Day activities will be held on Sunday, 10th day of November, 2013 at the Zomba Cenotaph with similar events taking place in Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
    President Banda gets her poppy flower
    President Banda gets her poppy flower

    Warrant Officer Class two, Gracian Mpanda, salutes the President after the function
    Warrant Officer Class two, Gracian Mpanda, salutes the President after the function

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