Minister of Civic Education and National Unity Timothy Mtambo on Tuesday visited people of Moto Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Chowe in Mangohci to apologise for the atrocities the locals experienced under one-party dictatorship.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP), under Kamuzu Banda's authoritarian rule, torched the village on suspicion that the villagers were harbouring Henry Masauko Chipembere.
This happened after Chipembere, who was from the area, went into hidding after taking up arms to fight against Kamuzu's rule.
The development has ever since led people of Moto Village and surrounding areas to develop a strong hatred towards MCP, calling it a "killing party."
But in a move aimed for reconciliation and healing the country if its past wounds, Mtambo was in Mangochi where he held strategic meetings with all Senior Chiefs and Traditional Authorities from across Mangochi; the family members of the late Henry Masauko Chipembere and Moto Village.
Mtambo apologised for MCP's atrocities and assured the people that the new MCP has a new leadership style led by President Lazarus Chakwera, a former evangelical preacher.
"I want you to know that this is a new MCP with new faces and new style of leadership. The old oppressive party which inflicted pain on you is gone," said Mtambo.
The minister described Chipembere as one of the revolutionary nationalists who, in their young ages, pledged themselves to fight for an independent Malawi.
"Chipembere was part of the movement comprised of young and intelligent Patriotic citizens who came from all the different regions of our country. They never thrived on regionalism, a vice that has strangely visited our political field soon after self-rule. It is a vice that, under the new Malawi that we want, the administration of President Chakwera is dedicated to root out," said Mtambo.
Mtambo said the ordeal at Moto village presents "a sample of tragic wounds which need proper healing in order to move together as a united and peaceful people."
Said Mtambo: " It is pleasing to note that the people have welcomed the Government's initiative of reaching out to them and reconcile a new chapter of peace, love, togetherness and unity."
The minister then asked the people to support the Tonse administration which he said wants to "bring development in the country", saying development cannot com "if there is enmity, hence our coming to correct all the wrongdoing some leaders caused in the country."
The villages took opportunity to voice their concerns accusing some the pitiful conduct of some politicians who come to them during each campaign period, just to remind them of what they had gone through, thereby denying their wounds a chance to heal.
They highlighted that once voting finishes, the politicians never returned to them to deliver development.
Sheik Hussein Akim told Mtambo that the people have forgiven MCP.
"We are ready to move forward," he said, adding " we can't keep grudges with people who are no longer in the party or who died."
He asked government to honour the people by constructing a statue for the late Chipembere, a good road and a secondary school in the area.
The state of affairs in this community it deplorable. The community lacks proper roads and other essential public facilities like clinic, school and potable water.
The Minister assured the residents of Moto village that President Chakwera, who sent him to visit them, is committed to draw a new chapter of their community.