11 December 2018

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 shoorting of the documentary

The shoorting of the documentary

The Mwanza documentary

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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