President Peter Mutharika has announced plans that his government will construct a a high-tech tomb for Malawi’s pro-democrcay hero Chakufwa Tom Chihana.
The mausoleum will include a library housing Chihana’s memorabilia.
Mutharika disclosed this in Bolero during a ground breaking ceremony for Rumphi,Nyika chitipa road
The President said his government recognizes the important role that Chihana played in his brave fight against one party dictatorship and champion multiparty democracy in this country as such he deserves to be honored.
“I knew Chihana back then, we once worked together outside this country and we have met several times when we were together in exile. As such I recognize the good works he has done for this country and hope every Malawian dose.
“Thus why we are to construct a Mausoleum in honor of Tom Chakufwa Chihana at that same place he is resting. We have already talked to the Chihana family and soon the project will commerce,” said Mutharika in a speech broadcast on national radio.
Commenting on the remarks, Karonga Central MP Frank Mwenifumbo said as president of Alliance for Demcorcay (Aford) he is thankful to the President and his government for considering his call to construct a Mausoleum for Chihana.
“As the president for AFORD which Chihana founded let me thank the President Professor Peter Muthalika, on behalf of all the members of AFORD we have been horned as you know Chihana played a big role as far as multiparty Democracy is concerned in Malawi,” said Mwenifumbo.
“This is also a sign of unity he has respected the people from the north for honoring their hero” he added. Muntharika has made the announcement just a few weeks after Mwenifumbo asked the government to
construct a Mausoleum for Chihana during the just closed parliament sitting.
Chihana’s tiny grave in the city of Mzuzu behind Reserve Bank of Malawi remains a desolate, abandoned site despite earlier government promises to erect a mausoleum befitting the fallen trade union, human rights activist and served as the country’s second vice-president.
The grave has a faded Chihana portrait hanging under a falling roof, marked with untrimmed flowers, overgrown grass, and heavy dust settling on the unguarded grave, conjuring an eerie image, especially at night.
Former president Bakili Muluzi in 2014 donated K1 million (about $2 000) towards the upgrading of the grave site of Chihana.
The late Chihana, is also among 37 individuals and organisations from 24 countries that were awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award since 1984. He got his award in 1992.
On 6 April 1992, Chakufwa Tom Chihana walked into the den of lions when he landed at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) and openly did the unthinkable. He challenged the entrenched Kamuzu Banda’s 31-year-old autocratic rule under the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Effectively, he put into motion, with others, a movement that saw the feared MCP regime crumble; hence entered into the annals of history as one of the founding fathers of Malawi’s multipartyism.
Chihana died in June 2006.—Additional reporting by Judith Moyo, Nyasa TimesFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :