President Joyce Banda said on Saturday that nationwide demonstrations similar to the July 20 2011 during the DPP regime will not take place under her leadership, saying that she has drawn lessons from them.
Banda was speaking at a memorial service at Zolozolo Cemetery, in the northern city of Mzuzu, in honor of victims that died during the July 20 demonstrations.
President Banda led families of the deceased in laying wreaths at the graveyard of the 8 out of the 10 people that died in Mzuzu.
Speaking after laying the wreath, President Banda said Malawians should jealously guard the democracy to ensure that such a thing never happens again.
Said president Banda: “The unnecessary death of these people should never happen again, as Malawians we should learn from this and make sure we don’t lose innocent lives, The country was robbed of young men and women and we should at all cost never let this atrocity happen again in Malaw.
President Banda has also directed the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to set up a committee to ensure that they construct tombstones for the July 20 victims.
President Banda also urged political leaders and the clergy to seek audience with her if they have issues rather than run to the press.
“My door is always open, you can provide advice and criticism when necessary, but I urge you do not go to the media with the advice because I don’t respond issues that in papers, but when you seek an audience with me, I will listen,” said President Banda.
Speaking earlier at the service, Reverend Nyondo said the clergy is happy that since assuming power, President Banda addressed some of the issues that were presented to the former president during the demonstrations.
“We are happy with the way you have started Madam President, What we can urge you is to continue and don’t let power corrupt you. You have a partner in us and we will advise and tell you when things go wrong, and in situations like now where you are doing well, we will give you 10 over 10 as your score.
However, Nyondo and the Synod’s Church and Society Programme director Moses Mkandawire during the joint prayers warned that if government fails to be accountable to the people, the church and the civil society will not remain quiet
July 20, 2011 will always be remembered by Malawians as 20 innocent protestors were killed by police during mass demonstrations calling for an end to President Bingu wa Mutharika’s increasingly repressive and authoritarian policies.
Out of the 20 people killed, – 2 were from Blantyre, 7 in Lilongwe, 10 in Mzuzu and 1 in Karonga. Nineteen died from gunshots, while one was suffocated by teargas.
Fifty eight people were injured – mostly due to gunshots or police beating.
A commission of inquiry appointed by the late Bingu wa Mutharika, but whose results came out in July 2012 under the administration of Joyce Banda, faulted the police for the deaths and called for investigation and prosecution of those involved.
Presently, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) has called on for an expedited judicial process to bring to book all perpetrators of crimes and call for compensation of victims and survivors.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :