Never again! Chakwera comforts July 20 victim families

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Presidential hopeful Dr Lazarus Chakwera has said his government will allow Malawians to express their discontent if there is a problem and will not resort to killing its citizens for exercising that right.

Chakwera said this in Mzuzu at Zolozolo cemetery where he went to lay a wreath on the graves of people who were slain by Police on July 20, 2011 during anti-government demonstrations against the then DPP government led by deceased president Bingu WA Mutharika against worsening economic conditions.

On his maiden visit as MCP leader at the mass grave, Chakwera said he was saddened by what happened saying it should be a lesson to all presidential hopefuls.

Chakwera condoling families of the July 20 victims
Chakwera condoling families of the July 20 victims

Accompanied by MCP vice President Richard Msowoya and other senior party officials, the former head of the Assemblies of God in Malawi said Malawians will never forget what happened in July 2011.

“They should not be war in Malawi. What happened brought bitterness and hate among Malawians and as MCP we do not subscribe to that. Of course our past as a party is unpalatable but will not tolerant that now,” he said.

He then condoled the families of whose breadwinners lost their lives.

MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila said what the then DPP government did was unacceptable and demonstrate what happens when governments turn despotic.

“They (DPP) branded the people they killed that day as looters and thieves yet all of them were shot at the back. DPP should retract that statement and publicly apologise. Otherwise they should pay compensation,” she said.

Kabwila said MCP will construct a memorial pillar for the slain victims.

A representative of the decease families, Mercy Mfune claimed they have never received any assistance from anywhere.

“Some of the people killed were breadwinners and left families behind. They are suffering. Our plea is that what happened should not be repeated again,” Mfune said.

About 10 people in Mzuzu City and one in Karonga died during the said demonstrations which also saw various shops belonging to Chinese Nationals being vandalised and looted. Some houses were razed to ashes.

Chakwera, MCP vice president Msowoya and others at Zolozolo cemetry
Chakwera, MCP vice president Msowoya and others at Zolozolo cemetry

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