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Malawi clocks 53 years of independence

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As the country was set to clock 53 years of independence today, Blantyre and Lilongwe city councils organised Independence Day military parades by the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Wednesday.

However, this was not the case in Mzuzu and Zomba cities, as the councils organised to start the Independence Day celebrations in the evening till midnight with prayers and fireworks, taking residents into daytime.

In Zomba, a military parade is scheduled to take place today from the War Memorial Tower to Gymkhana Club Ground where the commemorations will take place, led by Mayor Meria Douglas.

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Yesterday, soldiers paraded from Crossroads to Memorial Tower in Lilongwe, while in Blantyre the parade started from the Clock Tower Roundabout to the Independence Arch.

Blantyre City residents thronged the streets to cheer, admire and take pictures with the parading MDF soldiers. The MDF soldiers were joined by the Malawi Prisons Brass Band.

After the parade, the soldiers saluted Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa, and Blantyre City Mayor, Wild Ndipo.

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Nankhumwa said he was impressed with the display of the soldiers, saying the country’s independence is worth celebrating although the government does not have enough funds to organise a national function.

“Our independence is worth celebrating and that is why the President delegated me to preside over the function. It was necessary that we celebrate although our economy is not at the level where we can organise a national event,” he said.

Ndipo said decentralisation of the celebrations would enable Blantyre residents and those from neighbouring districts to celebrate the day in a special way which would have not been possible if the day was celebrated only at national level in Lilongwe.

Zomba City spokesperson, Mercy Chaluma, said besides displays by the military, police and prison services, residents will be treated to Aircraft fly-past, Taekwendo, tag of war, plays and dances.

In Mzuzu, the celebrations started with a church service under the theme ‘Thanking God in Time of Need’ which was graced by Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Chiumia.

The main event will be held at Bingu International Convention Centre this morning and later a football match between Silver Strikers and Nyasa Big Bullets at Bingu National Stadium.

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