Malawi CSOs, opposition commemorate July 20 protesters killed during anti-regime riots: Call for ‘Freedom Fund’

Civil Society organisations on Thursday led commemorations of July 20 massacre when 20 people were mercilessly gunned down in anti-government protests of the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime under late president Bingu wa Mutharika six years ago.

Unveiling of the tombstones

Political leaders at the event

July 20 tombstones unveiled

Church and Society of the Protestant Church of Central Africa Presybeterian, Livingstonia Synod, ‘constructed low cost tombstones for the victims.

Rights activist Moses Mkandawire, director of the group,  said in an earlier interview that Malawi should not forget that some people lost their lives during the struggle for real democracy in 2011.

State controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation is accusing civil society organisations for organising the mega protests which led to the killing of the people.

During the commemorations events in Mzuzu, the civil society groups unveiled the tombstones for the victims.

President Peter Mutharika was minister of Education whilst his chief of staff was police inspector general when the police opened fire and killed the peaceful protesters.

Meanwhole,  People’s Party (PP) lawmaker says there is need for government and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to come up with “Freedom Fund” to support bereaved families’ members of the 20 July 2011 protests.

Speaking on Thursday in Mzuzu at the unveiling ceremony of tombstones of eight people who died in the protests, Member of Parliament for Mzimba North, Agnes Nyalonje, said the Freedom Fund will assist the deceased’s families to meet their basic needs.

“These people died because they wanted some things to change in this country. These are our heroes and, therefore, their families should be well taken care of,” Nyalonje said.

She said, through this special fund, every family that was affected on that day (July 20, 2011) will be assisted accordingly without any bias.

Nyalonje said it is pathetic to see that some children of the deceased are failing to go to school as they are failing to meet their basic needs.

Taking his turn, Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) President, Enock Chihana, said there is need for the government to set July 20 as a day of national mourning.

“These people died as Malawians and they will always remain Malawians. So let us give them due respect,” he said.

A representative of the bereaved families, Mercy Mbezuma Mfune, thanked all well wishers that took part in contributing towards the construction of the tombstones.

Mfune called on government and NGOs to continue supporting the bereaved families saying they are passing through difficult times.

During the memorial ceremony, leaders of opposition parties such as Dr Lazarus Chakwera, Former Vice-President Khumbo Kachali and Chihana laid wreaths on the tombstones.

This year’s July 20 memorial ceremony started with a church service led by CCAP Synod of Livingstonia and the Anglican Church.

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Asante
Guest

The Truth of the matter is that those killed on July 20 were notorious criminals. Is so surprising to see bold headed people praising criminals. My business suffered and up to now it has not flapped up. Over my dead bodies calling thieves heroes

Che mbiya
Guest

No matter the lies being perpetuated killing people should be condemned at all costs. Life is God given and should not be taken by a regime no matter what.

james Mpata
Guest

The hunter becomes the hunted! What happened to the Hunter and the Killer? God, the God I worship will always answer for the hunted. May their lives RIP.

YANKI
Guest

Koma nanga memorial ya a Gadama, a Matenje and a Chiwanga ichitika liti

David Mweso
Guest

No one has condemned the rooting of shops when people are conducting what you call peaceful matches. Church and political leaders are all thieves hence they support criminal activities. If you start rooting innocent people’s shops, you are no longer called a protester but a criminal and you have to be dealt with accordingly. Let us learn to say the truth to avoid such loses in future. Politics is taking Chakwera offline.

Jamax
Guest

Mervelous point David most of those people killed on that day were criminals whose aim was to break and steal from shops we can not brand these pure criminal as heros no. I for one would rather support my friend YANKI’s view yes what about Gadama, Matenje and Chiwanga these are the heros we should think of. Dr. Chakwera want to create VOTES out of dead bodies it does not work that way.

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