Malawi has proposed March 3 for the commemoration of the Southern Africa Liberation Day, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Francis Kasaila has said.
Kasaila said all Southern Africa Development (SADC) countries were requested to propose a date for the commemoration of the Southern Africa Liberation Day at the SADC Summit held in Gaborone, Botswana, in August, 2015.
Kasaila said Malawi proposed the 3rd of March because it is relevant to Malawi as this is the day that the country commemorates for Malawians who sacrificed their lives for the independence of this country.
“The commemoration of the Southern Africa Liberation Day will assist in promoting the SADC regional integration efforts as this will act as a reminder of our common struggle for independence especially for the new generation in the SADC region.
“If all of us observe it, it will bring oneness that SADC member states work together as a region,” said the minister.
He said the day will also be significant because it will remind Malawi of our liberation struggle against the colonialists as well as the liberation struggle of other countries within the SADC region.
“It is the wish of all of us that one day we can ‘walk the talk’ on regional integration, we have issues to sort out and with the integration we will be able to sort them out collectively,” said Kasaila.
The SADC Summit held in Mbabane, Swaziland, in August, 2016, mandated the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) to consider these dates and make recommendation for consideration at the next SADC Summit scheduled to take place in South Africa in August, 2017.
So far, Angola, Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia have proposed dates for the Southern Africa Liberation Day.
Kasaila said all the SADC countries were all fighting for colonial independence and African liberation in the 1950’s to 1990’s and Malawi proposed this day to celebrate the Southern Africa Liberation Day as all were fighting for the same cause.
The Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) (now SADC) was established in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1980, was set up to assist the remaining countries in the region to become independent and also be economically independent of apartheid South Africa.
The independence struggles in the SADC region met different levels of resistance. Some occupying and oppressing powers used heavy arms against unarmed people. The suppressing states also attacked innocent people for fighting for their rights and freedoms.