Government has remained muted on Friday as Malawians privately remembered 20 people massacred by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime seven years ago for protesting against the increasingly arrogance, intolerance and dictatorial tendencies of former president Bingu wa Mutharika.
On social media platforms, people are exchanging their experiences on this day seven years ago when the police were ordered to shoot and kill peaceful protesters, the mass demonstrations that nearly brought the Bingu administration to its knees.
People blame the government for its heavy handedness in dealing with the wave of massive protests as the late president started ruling the country with an iron fist.
But the open commemorations of the day are being held in Mzuzu at Zorozoro cemetary where eight of the 10 killed during the protests in Mzuzu were buried.
The other two protesters were buried in Karonga.
The spokesperson for the families affected by the death of the protesters, Martha Mbezuma said the families raised K50, 000 out of the projected K200, 000 to hold the commemoration events because organisations which helped the families hold the prayers chickened out.
She gave an example of Church and Society which she said did not honour its pledge neither did its officials attend the commemoration prayers.
But Church and Society executive director Moses Mkandawire said the organization had other equally pressing matters to attend to.
The prayers were led by Reverend Mercy Chilongoti of the CCAP.
Executive director of Youth and Society Charles Kajoloweka said what happened on July 20 should be an inspiration to Malawians that they have a right to rise up and fight an oppressive regime.
“This is a day of inspiration. Those who died were fighting a regime which failed to live up to its promises,” he said.
He told the police to be professional, saying the merciless gunning down of unarmed protesters was uncalled for.
Police spokesperson, James Kadadzera said people should follow proper procedures when protesting to avoid the repeat of the July 20 2011 massacres.
However, it has transpired that over 50 people who went to government to seek compensation have not received their money and their cases have been closed because the three year case window has elapsed according to the law.
Peter Chisi, director of civil and human rights at the Malawi Human Rights Commission said the laws need to be repealed, saying people should still get compensation regardless of the time frame of when the incident occurred.
“These laws need to be repealed. You cannot put a time frame on human rights cases, this does not happen elsewhere,” he said.
But George Kadzipatike, a lawyer who represented some of the victims said all his clients received their compensation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :