Government has come out in the open to state that Independence Day celebrations will not take place this year because of the economic difficulties the country is facing.
Chief Secretary, George Mkondiwa, said the only event to take place on the day will be a national service of worship at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe.
“If I say to you that there will be no celebrations during this year’s Independence Day, the reasons would be very obvious to you. Everyone knows that our economic difficulties will not accommodate that,” replied Mkondiwa when asked whether the nation will celebrate the event this year or not.
He said under normal circumstances, government would have organised traditional dances, military displays and a football match for the Flames, among others, to mark the importance of the historical day.
Mkondiwa noted that the national service of worship will also be a way of asking God to intervene in the various challenges facing Malawi as a nation.
“We would have celebrated in every way possible if we had the money. But the only activity we can manage to organise is the national service of worship. That is what we can afford for now,” said Mkondiwa.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Finance and Administration Director, Christopher Mdolo, said he was yet to get communication on the matter but was quick to accept government’s position.
“We cannot say much. This is an annual celebration and we were looking forward to it. If that is government’s position, we cannot do anything about it,” said Mdolo.
Main oppositio n Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson, Jessie Kabwila, asked for more time to consult her party’s membership on the development while People’s Party Publicity Secretary Ken Msonda did not pick his phone when called on several occasions.
Last year, the event was commemorated at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre with military parades, traditional dances and a football match involving the Flames and Uganda’s Cranes.