Kamuzu Day commemoration held in Malawi: ‘Ngwazi’ left a legacy more lasting than bronze

Family members of the country’s founding president the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda and officials from Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on Monday honoured the man regarded as the founder of the modern nation of Malawi while government officials and other political parties stayed away from the function.

Ngwazi Kamuzu Banda

Kandodo Banda: ‘Ngwazi’ left a legacy more lasting than bronze

MCP president Lazarus Chakwera fresh from being re-newed as presidential candidate during the party’s convention last weekend, took time with his two deputies Sidik Mia and Harry Mkandawire  and other executive members  to honour Kamuzu at his home in Kasungu on Kamuzu Day, which was declared a public holiday by government.

There was no official representation from government to commemorate this year’s Kamuzu Day celebrations in honour of the country’s ruler from independence in 1964 to 1994.

Ken Kandodo, Kamuzu’s great grandnephew, said though government officials were absent from the event, it went on well.

He said it is important to celebrate the life and achievement of the Father and Founder of the Malawi Nation, a title he was fondly used to be described by in his 30-year rule of Malawi, saying the ‘Ngwazi’ left a legacy more lasting than bronze.

“Most of Kamuzu projects are still visible today. He built the country’s only international airport; hydroelectric power stations that his successors are struggling to upgrade; he built most of the roads that connects the country’s four cities; he oversaw the most competent, organised and disciplined civil service that Malawi has ever had; he built the University of Malawi (the one  the his successors are failing to run) and he built the two main referral hospitals that the country has,” Kandodo noted.

Kandodo said the family was  discouraged  by the absence of government representatives and other political parties.

However, Kandodo stressed that Kamuzu Day is an important and historic national event which must be remembered by the whole country.

Chakwera described the departed president as “a great leader whose legacy even we, in this generation, continuously inspires.”

Commenting on the significance of the event  Moderator of Nkhoma Synod Reverend Biswick Nkhoma reignited Malawians to continue holding Kamuzu with the highest esteem he deserves.

” Kamuzu is a national hero of independence,” said Reverend Nkhoma.

Reverend Nkhoma decried corruption and high unemployment rate which he said is high in the country.

Kamuzu fact file

Kamuzu, who died on November 25 1997,  was born in the Mphonongo Banda family of Kasungu. Between 1916 and1937, he pursued his studies until he graduated as a medical doctor.

He worked in the UK and Ghana before returning home on July6 1958 at the invitation of some Malawian nationalists to lead the struggle against the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. A month after his arrival in the country, he was made leader of the Nyasaland African Congress(NAC), a forerunner of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).He was well received across the country during his familiarisation tour as he campaigned for freedom from the British bondage.

By March 3 1959, the political situation in Malawi had become so untenable to the extent that a State of Emergency was declared, leading to Kamuzu’s arrest alongside hundreds other Malawians during what the colonialists dubbed as ‘Operation Sunrise’. He was imprisoned in Gwero, Zimbabwe(Southern Rhodesia).

Kamuzu was released from prison on April 1 1960 and following elections in 1961, he was nominated minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Local Government before becoming prime minister on February 11963. He became president on July6 1964 when the country gained its independence from Britain.

In 1966, a new Constitution of the Republic of Malawi was passed that made the country a one-party State with Dr Banda as the first President. He was later referred to as Life President until he was swept  away by the wind of democratic change in 1994 following a ‘yes’ vote to plural politics in 1993.

On the eve of the 1993 Referendum, Kamuzu made an historic speech in which he said: “Go about your voting procedures in an orderly and dignified manner, respecting each other as Malawians have always done. You should all remember that how you conduct yourselves during and after the referendum is most important since it will not only show our level of maturity as a nation but whether we move forward as a nation or degenerate into chaos. We should remember that the greatness of a nation derives from the worthy actions of its people.” He signed off by his usual salutation: “Bwanas and Donas, you have my best wishes”.

 

 

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Mas ter
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Mas ter

Mr opposition shall you do developement like Kamuzu in 5 years do you promise Malawian
Don’t compare 30 years and 5 years
Stop this examples

Hatton
Guest
Hatton

Any history of Kamuzu without mentioning the 1964 cabinet crisis is incomplete. So does it mean Mama had no role in Kamuzu’s history? This is a doctored history. Why would one expect government to attend an MCP function? A kubanja blame yourself for turning Kamuzu day into an MCP function. You have demoted this day yourself. Ngati Pali anthu amene atukwana Kamuzu m’dziko muno ndi Harry Mkandawire, Zikhale Ng’oma, Sidik Muhammad Mia etc in order of intensity. Congratulations Mia for strategically placing yourself by having your PP friends like Harry Mkandawire, Zikhale Ng’oma, Gotani Hara and many more in MCP… Read more »

Spinoza
Guest

Tell me kamuzu could do all the developments he did in 5 yrs even 10 yrs. Basis buzy kumapanga compare zitukuko zopangidwa mu 30 yrs with za pano where a leader only holds office for just a maxmum of 10 yrz pali nzeru pamenepo? Nde bingu akanakhala naye 30 yrz opanda kukokedwa kokedwa ngati kamudzu, do u think kamuzu akanalimbanso pa chitukuko?

Good citizen😀
Guest
Good citizen😀

You can Pro-rate. We are just 7 years behind 31 years rule of Kamuzu since 1994. Project the development to 2025 and see whether Kamuzu’s will be matched! In fact after 1994 it’s only during 2004 to 2009 when Malawi was moving at a good development pace. It was during the time of Bingu and that was when he had the strongest opposition. But from 2010 to 2012 he had the weakest opposition only that he had started losing direction of democracy. Unfortunately, he retired before completing the term. Believe you me, even Bingu commended what Kamuzu did, I have… Read more »

Truth
Guest
Truth

Stupidly staying away in house built by Kamuzu

Chilunga
Guest
Chilunga

Kamuzu Banda was from Ghana. Not Malawi. Wake up you idiots.

Msundu
Guest
Msundu

Yona how many are dying now in our hospitals for curable diseases. Njaunje died in cold blood was that in Kamuz

Yona
Guest
Yona

Sure nobody will ever kill the thousands kamuzu killed.. What a legacy….

Old age
Guest
Old age

Kamuzu never killed anyone. We killed ourselves.

Cognitive DIssonance Theory
Guest
Cognitive DIssonance Theory

today you were on holiday to remember that legacy?

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