Malawians in UK will mark the independence day celebrations with prayers with the Malawi High Commission in London announcing that the reception which it had scheduled to host at Commonwealth secretariat on Friday has been cancelled following a stampede during the celebrations in Malawi which has claimed 8 lives of mostly children and several injured person.
Reports said the stampede occurred when spectators forced open the gates at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe where a football match was due to take place during celebrations marking 53 years of Malawi’s independence from British rule.
The Malawi High Commission said in a statement obtained by Nyasa Times that the reception that was scheduled for Friday evening has been “cancelled”.
“This is in respect to the stampede deaths and injuries of Malawians at the Bingu National Stadium,” reads the statement in part.
However, the Malawi Mission said the Evensong prayers at the Westminster Abbey in London will proceed.
Meanwhile, there will also be a thanks-giving prayer service and worship gathering which is being hosted by Manchester Malawi Association on July 15 at Grace City Church, Cotter Street – Post Code M12 6PQ in Manchester.
The prayers will be held under the theme ‘A nation united to ignite hope in this world’
Among others there will be prayers from Bishop Nkhoma, Dr Boniface Chimpango, Sister Joyce M’bwana, Bishop Chiphaliwali, Pastor Richard Tembo, Pastor Mjojo, Pastor Isaac Chisi, Pastor Edgar Chibaka, Pastor Chilembwe and Bishop Pangani Thipa.
Pastor Dereck Chunda will sum up the the service with a final prayer.
However, Malawi Associations in Leeds, Liverpool and Scotland are hold get together celebration parties which will proceed on Saturday with a minute of silence to mark tribute to July 6 stampede victims.
Malawi attained independence from the United Kingdom on the 6th of July, 1964 and became a republic on the 6th July, 1966 with the late Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda becoming the first president of the republic of Malawi.