President Peter Mutharika on Friday said the country has achieved more since attaining independence.
Speaking during the Independence Day celebrations at Mzuzu Stadium in the city, the President stressed the need to respect the country’s freedom fighters, adding that most youths in the country have lost sense of responsibility because they have not been taught where Malawi is coming from.
Ironically, while praising the Malawi’s father and founder Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, former presidents Bakili Muluzi and Bingu wa Mutharika, and freedom fighter Chakufwa Chihana, Mutharika missed the name of his predecessors, Joyce Banda, whom he has always accused of messing up the country’s economy during her two-year rule.
Said Mutharika: “Let us celebrate by paying tribute to past leaders and their contribution to national building. Let us temper Kamuzu Banda as father and founder of our nation. History cannot be reversed. Whatever Kamuzu’s style of leadership was, and how oppressive his government was, it will not take away from history that he was the father and founder of Malawi.
“Let us also remember Bingu wa Mutharika as a man who served Malawi on a path to real development. Let us also celebrate the life of Bakili Muluzi while he still lives. Let us also not forget Tom Chakufwa Chihana, a very close friend of mine who offered all of us in exile determination to challenge Kamuzu.”
However, missing at the event were Vice-President Saulos Chilima, former President Joyce Banda, who is also leader of People’s Party (PP) and president of opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Lazarus Chakwera.
In an interview, government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said all stakeholders, including opposition leaders. were invited to the celebrations.
Meanwhile, Chancellor College-based political analyst Ernest Thindwa has said the idea of national celebrations should be scrapped from our national calendar beacause it is meaningless as there is nothing to write home about and celebrate in respect of independence.
“This country is worse off today than it was in 1964 in aggregate terms. Public delivery systems such as health, education, security and other areas on which the majority poor depends, have, but collapsed,” he said.
This year’s event was spiced up by a military parade by the Malawi Defence Force (MDF), displays on how the Malawi Police Service deals with incidents of crime and traditional dances.