The government has made a U-turn on Independence Day celebrations activities and budget, canceling activities in Blantyre and Mzuzu city and reducing the number of patrons to 200.
Chairperson of the celebrations, Cabinet minister Richard Chimwendo Banda, told The Daily Times late in the evening that they have also trimmed the activities’ budget from the initial K244 million to K50 million on the recommendation of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid, which fears that scaling up activities would fuel cases of coronavirus infections in the country.
Earlier in the day, organisers of the celebrations announced at a press briefing that activities, including prayers and traditional dances, would be held in the three cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu.
“Even here, in Lilongwe, the activity will be limited to prayers at Bingu International Conference Centre open ground,” he said.
Chimwendo Banda said the amount to spend was likely to go further down.
This year’s commemoration will be held under the theme ‘Building an Inclusive Wealth and Self-Reliant Nation through Mindset Change and Servant Leadership’.
Malawi has been independent for 57 years.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.