Malawi former president Bakili Muluzi said the country should have the Freedom Day on June 14 back so that citizens should commemorate reintroduction of multi-party democracy in the country and share history to the youth on the struggles to end one-party dictatorship.
On Monday, June 14 1993, a referendum on reintroduction of multi-party democracy was held in Malawi which paved the way for the adoption of multiparty democracy as a form of government. Kamuzu Banda’s three decades of dictatorship was consigned to history.
Muluzi, who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004, said interviews monitored on Daybreak Malawi program on Capital FM that as someone who helped bring democratic change in the country he was also happy to see the current administration upholding democracy.
“We must guard our democracy,” said Muluzi who authored ‘Democrcay with a price, Mau anga’ book when he was in power.
Malawians used to commemorate June 14 as Freedom Day, the day they voted in a referendum in 1993 but the day this year went unnoticed.
Muluzi, Malawi’s first democratically elected president in 1994, said the nation should not bury its political.
He paid tribute to some of pro-democracy activists including the influential Catholic church through its bishops, late Chakufwa Chihana, late Aleke Kadonaphani Banda, late Collins Chizumila, late Wenham Nakanga, late Alhaji Shaibu Itimu, late Eunice Kazembe, late Edward Bwanali, Edda Chitalo, journalists, “people from Chitipa, Mangochi, Mulanje and too numerous to mention.”
Asked by Capital Radio’s Rhodes Msonkho if the country has made gains after attaining democracy, Muluzi said there has been progress but called for consolidation of democracy.
“As someone who helped to bring the democratic change together with my brother [late] Chakufwa Chihana, I am satisfied with the progress Malawi has made so far,” the former president the self-styled political engineer who founded and led the United Democratic Party (UDF) for over 10 years before retiring from active politics in 2009..
Citing institutions such as the Malawi Law Commission, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Malawi Human Rights Commission, Muluzi described the organisations as instrumental in supporting the country’s democracy.
The former Malawi leader wants Freedom Day to be bacl for the people of Malawi to commemorate what happened on this day in 1993.
He said it was important for young Malawians who were born after 1993 to learn what the country went through to attain the freedom they are enjoying today.
Malawi attained independence from Britain in 1964 but for the next 30 years, Kamuzu Banda ruled with an iron fist.
After the 1993 referendum, Muluzi won the first democratic presidency in May 1994 and served for two five-year terms before his bid for third term in 2004 was blocked by Malawians.
He wanted to contest in 2009 but was also stopped by constitutional order.
Analaysts say without improvements in the lives of the people, freedom brought by multiparty democracy remains an elusive dream.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :