Malawi’s Lost History Foundation produces video documentary on 1964 Cabinet crisis

Malawi’s Lost History Foundation has produced a video documentary of the untold truth of the October 1967 Mwanza War fought by the country’s security forces against an armed group of 17 ‘rebels’ led by former Home Affairs Minister Yatuta Chisiza that broke out following the 1964 Cabinet Crisis. 

The video documentary will be premiered for free in Blantyre on December 22 2018 at Underground Cinema at Chichiri Shopping Mall and people are urged to register in advance  for them to be senttickets or cards to use for entry. 

“The guest of honour to this event is a veteran freedom fighter and the first woman to qualify as a lawyer not only in Malawi but theentire southern Africa, Madam Vera Chirwa, the widow to former freedom fighter late Orton Chirwa,” said producer of the documentary, Paliani Chinguwo.

“And there are other people who have been specially invited as guests such as officials from Malawi Defence Force, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Information, Blantyre City Assembly, CSOs, academia among others,” he said.

A communique from Lost History Foundation puts the background that the Mwanza war broke out in October 1967 between Malawi’security forces on one front and an armed group of 17 under the umbrella of Ufulu Umodzi Malawi Party (UUMA) led by Yatuta Chisiza.

“Yatuta Chisiza and his lieutenant Lutengano Mwahimba were shot dead while five of their compatriots escaped successfully to Zambia,” the communique says. “One committed suicide while nine others captured alive who were later tried at the high and supreme courts in Blantyre and hanged (exceptone of them who became a state witness). They were finally buried in unmarkedgraves in Zomba in 1969.

“Throughout Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda regime and up to now,the accounts of the October 1967 Mwanza ‘war’ have been discussed with a biastowards the official narrative given by the one party state of Dr. Banda. Thisvideo documentary is therefore an attempt to give the most accurate narration of this ‘war’ and illustrate its significance to the history of Malawiparticularly the struggle for democracy and human rights.

“The main character in this video documentary is Mr. FrankJiya, the only surviving combatant among the 17 ‘rebel’ fighters who invaded the country to wage the war against Malawi’s security forces 51 years ago.”

The communique says this true story leads people from the hopeful early life of the independent Malawi through the breakdown of the rule of law under the MCP government led by Dr Banda in the wake of cabinet crisisof 1964 to the military attempt at changing the status quo staged by YatutaChisiza, Frank Jiya and 15 others in October 1967.

“Among many other aspects, this video documentary highlightsMr Frank Jiya’s promising political career under the Nyasaland African Congress(later Malawi Congress Party) to his fall-out with the MCP government duringthe cabinet crisis of 1964 leading to his exile in Zambia/Tanzania, the planning of the Mwanza war while in exile, the experiences of the war inMwanza/Neno, his active involvement with the Socialist League of Malawi(LESOMA) while in exile after surviving the war to the demise of the MCP government in 1994.

“Most of the major events covered are presented using sit-down interview with Mr Jiya and other persons directly involved in the facts of the film such as Major General Namwali, who was part of the command centre for theMalawi Army, Lutengano Mwahimba’s widow, Al Osman who covered the war for the Times newspaper among others. 

“Other events are presented through dramatic re-enactments using voice-over narration. Several scholarly interviews were also conductedand used to explain and present the information. Mr Frank Jiya’s historical photographs and those of the other persons closely involved in the facts of thefilm are also captured in concurrence with the time period being explained as outlined above. 

“Footage (old and new) of various historical locations where actual events occurred e.g. battlefields in Mwanza/Neno, Old Parliament Building in Zomba, High Court in Blantyre as well as the military hardware that the ‘rebels’ used during the war,” the communique says.

Chinguwo said free tickets will be given out on first come-first serve basis and one per head. There are limited spaces and thoseinterested are urged to express interest or register by this email: [email protected],or whatsapp:+265888388044. For updates, people can visit:www.historyofmalawi.com”.

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Ambuje Kukaya
Guest
Ambuje Kukaya

I have no problem with the release of this documentary. The fact of the matter is that some Malawians decided to take up arms to overthrow a legitimate regime. In any case the rebellion was aimed at fighting the armed forces of the Republic of Malawi. My only worry would be how those producing this work depict the victims visa viz the Malawi government.

Widzy
Guest
Widzy

What spoils it all is that the “THE MAIN CHARACTER IN THIS VIDEO DOCUMENTARY IS THE ONLY SURVIVING COMBATANT MR FRANK JIYA…” And we all know how much attention is given to the main character in a movie. This entails subjectivism at its best.

Khuth'upa
Guest
Khuth'upa

Some of us were students at BSS, right here in Blantyre; and we were hearing about Malawi Army trucks ferrying soldiers at night to Mwanza from Zomba. To be sure, the news was hush hush, in whispers, but believable. And fear was palpable, in nearby Ndirande: and even for us, lowly students, who were not politically inclined, we were afraid to venture out in the City after dark on the weekend! For obvious reasons, nothing was said about the fighting on MBC or printed in The Times. But, still news of the bush fighting, and of deaths – including soldiers’… Read more »

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

History is so funny. Hero can be Villan depending on Narrator. One day I listened to Davis Katsongo on MIJ FM describing how Chipembere destroyed the Relationship between his father and Dr Banda.And how he sent people to Ndirande to destroy their house.Nsanje.Fortunately young Davis and his mother were Rescued by the Colonial Police.If you listen to the Interview you can tell that he is Still Very Bitter with Chipembere.That’s Oral history for you .Unfortunately there will always be attempts to portray Dr Banda as a Devil who was Surrounded by Angels like Chiumia ,Chipembere ,Chisiza and company.e

Katakwe
Guest

Why not make a documentary of how Kamuzu kicked out colonialists and how John Chilembwe fought for freedom in Malawi? Kutumidwatu uku and I will not be surprised to hear that Malopa is behind this silly idea. People without qualifications are nervous as they know there will be no jobs when the government changes next year whether it is Chilima becomes President or Ada Laz even it mean our Northern region Rastafarian who claims that he can make a better President than the incumbent.

Henry
Guest
Henry

Iwe isapanga yako bwanji…Mbuzi

pumbwa wa maliseche
Guest

to me this sounds to be extremely nonsense, why always when approaching elections you come up with this kind of bullshit

GONANI
Guest
GONANI

Fake News! Guys, what exactly do you want? Isn’t it enough already that you have been trying to destroy M C P since 1994? Enough is enough. You must know that M C P is phenomenal, no fake news is gonna change that.

Matamando
Guest
Matamando

When did history become fake news? Have time to read and read what happened in this country..I propose you buy bioks from the Kachere Series within Thelogical College in Zomba…A film will only complement whatever is there already..It was part of our struggle for freedom.Start with Chipembere the missing years..

Msasa
Guest
Msasa

People should read true records of what happened. Some of the things written about cabinet crisis are one sided story. I like the way Thengo Malayo narrated the story of what happened. Who was to blame for cabinet crisis. Two months into our independence some minsters wanted Kamuzu to step down…..

Msasa
Guest
Msasa

Am afraid this will not be a true reflection of what really happened. The truth of the matter is that these were rebels who took arms against the legitimate government, their acts could have been met with similar response anywhere in the world.

Make
Guest
Make

Why did Dr. Banda allow Chipembere to leave with his full knowledge to the USA?The USA government facilitated his movement to the USA….Did you hear Kamuzu complaining…..

Mwananyanian
Guest
Mwananyanian

@Make
Rather naive point there: Chip left under diplomatic shelter and protection from a foreign embassy (you can check out for yourself which embassy) And Kamuzu could not do anything about that, and he must have been more than angry when he found himself helpless.
…and for you to ask “Did you hear Kamuzu complaining…” begs the question if you have not listened to any of his diatribe after that crisis.

ELIJAH VERSUS BAAL
Guest

WE GOT OUR INDEPENDENCE VERY QUICKLY FROM COLONIAL MASTERS —OUR FRIENDS IN SOUTH AFRICA ARE VERY MUCH AHEAD OF US– WE NEED COLONIAL MASTERS BACK –LOOK THE WAY WE FLOCKING TO SOUTH AFRICA LIKE NOBODY’S BUSINESS DO OR DIE SITUATIONS —

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