14 June 2018

Malawi Clocks 25 Years in Democracy, Mwenifumbo Demands Freedom Day Holiday Back

Malawians are today quietly commemorating 25 years of multiparty democracy with legislator Frank Mwenifumbo calling on the government to bring back Freedom Day Holiday and remember the gallant freedom fighter Chakufwa Tom Chihana.

This day, 25 years ago, Malawians braved the chilly weather to cast their votes in favour of the multiparty democracy as the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) warned that multipartism was war.

Before June 14, 1993, Kamuzu Banda ruled with an iron fist, his critics whom he called dissidents were either killed or they went into exile as the MCP paramilitary wing, the Malawi Young Pioneers, the notorious youth wing of the party, the youth league and the now disbanded police secret intelligence, the Special Branch reigned terror and curtailed all birth freedoms.

In an interview, Mwenifumbo said the government should consider recognising the day by bringing back the holiday.

"This is the great day for Malawi. We should always remember this day, the freedom day, it changed the whole political ball game from one party rule to multiparty democracy," he said.

Mwenifumbo, who now leads a divided Alliance for Democracy (Aford) founded by the father of democracy in Malawi said Malawians should always remember those who sacrificed their lives to bring about the hard won democracy.

"We should always remember the brave, selfless people who include Chakufwa Chihana. The MCP government warned him not to come to Malawi to fight for multiparty democracy because he would be meat for crocodiles but he defied that," said Mwenifumbo.

Mwenifumbo, who was personal assistant to Chihana in the 1990s, said 25 years ago, it was unimaginable that Malawi could revert to multiparty democracy.

The government replaced the freedom day with Kamuzu Day in honour of a man credited of killing, jailing and exiling many Malawians for political reasons.

First president in Malawi's multiparty democracy, Bakili Muluzi said he was impressed with the way Malawians are now enjoying the hard won democracy.

"I am satisfied with the democracy we have, I know we have some challenges; economic problems and lack of jobs but freedom is more important than money in the pocket," said Muluzi who gallantly fought for democracy along side Chihana and was himself imprisoned for his fight against Kamuzu autocratic rule.

He however cautioned that freedom comes with responsibilities, saying there is room for improvement on the democracy.

Muluzi called on Malawians to work hard saying even in democracy, money does not come that easy and cheap.


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