Kamuzu memorial unites politicians


The memorial ceremony organised to celebrate the life and achievements of Malawi’s founding president, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, drew together a wide range of politicians and other individuals from different sections of society.

Notable among the politicians who took part in laying wreaths at Kamuzu Mausoleum in Lilongwe included Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe, former head of state Bakili Muluzi, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and former MCP leader John Tembo.

Minister of Youth and Sports Development Grace Chiumia, former cabinet minister Henry Phoya and former speaker of Parliament Louis Chimango together with many other individuals, including Kamuzu’s family members, led by former cabinet minister Ken Kandodo, also graced the ceremony.


At the main event of the celebration, which took place at Civo Stadium after the mausoleum ceremony, many more notable figures – apart from those that had attended the mausoleum ceremony – were present.

These included former vice-presidents Justin Malewezi and Khumbo Kachali, Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya, retired Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo and People’s Party Central Region vice-president Uladi Mussa.

Gondwe, who was Guest of Honour at the celebration Goodall Gondwe described the late Kamuzu as a determined leader who put the welfare of his people first in spite of the criticism he received from some stakeholders.


He said even though Kamuzu met a lot of impediments which included imprisonment, he never relented in fighting for the welfare of Malawians such that he successfully fought against the Federation of Nyasaland and Rhodesia apart from fighting for Malawi’s independence.

“He made all these regardless of challenges. I think this is a great lesson for all of us. I hope the government of the day and governments of the future will continue learning from Kamuzu,” said Gondwe.

He further waxed lyrical about the Malawi’s founding president, saying he was a man who wanted to get the best from everyone such that “as an individual, each time you were with him, you learnt something”.

In his speech, Chakwera described Kamuzu as a unifying pillar whose principles should be embraced by everyone in the pursuit of unity.

“Throughout his rule, Kamuzu emphasised the fact that Malawi is one nation with united people despite cultural diversity. He said there is no Tumbuka, no Chewa, no Lomwe, no Yao, no Sena. He never marginalised people based on tribe and region or religion,” said Chakwera.

He further paid tribute to Kamuzu, arguing that because of his love for peace and unity, Malawi has relatively remained united, calm and peaceful even during the most contentious and troubling moments.

On his part, Kandodo, who spoke on behalf of the Chendawaka family, said the family had chosen education as the guiding theme of the commemoration because, among many other things, Kamuzu played a great role in education development in Malawi.

He further hailed the fallen Malawi father and founder for his efforts in making sure Malawi remained united regardless of the differences in some aspects.

According to the Chendawaka Family, May 14 is Kamuzu’s official birthday. It is also a public holiday in Malawi which is set aside to celebrate his life.

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