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Roseby Dinala’s recount of Kamuzu’s coming to Malawi

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MOURNED – Her funeral was testimony how Mayi Dinala was loved

Malawi has been breeding several political parties since her existence and exodus of party members has been the order of the day, especially when government changes.

From the day Malawi Congress Party (MCP) was formed, late Roseby Dinala (Mayi Dinala) had been one of its trusted members.

History shows Mayi Dinala never moved to another political party, despite the country having at tained multiparty democracy.

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In one of her rare interviews with The Daily Times, late Dinala said she joined MCP in the early days of its formation.

‘’I joined MCP long time ago. I was one of the party members who welcomed late Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda when he was coming to Malawi in 1958,’’ she said.

Dinala was also quoted as saying that her uncle, Lali Lubani, together with Sangala, Makata and others, after discussing at Ndirande Hall, opted to call Kamuzu Banda to Malawi to help in the country’s liberation from colonial masters.

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She went further to say that they waited until Kamuzu responded and promised to return to Malawi.

When the day came, they all went to Chileka Airport to welcome the leader.

According to Mayi Dinala, there was no chance for black people to come anywhere near the airport during that time since all proceedings were being manned by white people (Mabuno).

She recalled that people waited for hours and by then, just like many Malawians, she had not seen Kamuzu before.

Mayi Dinala said as they waited, they saw people coming out of the plane but Kamuzu was nowhere to be seen.

She added that people started screaming at the whites, saying ‘’Mwamupha’’ (you have killed him) and they threatened to torch the airport before the whites came to explain why Banda had failed to show up.

Mayi Dinala recalled that some people were asked to follow the whites in one of the rooms at Chileka Airport where they were asked to telephone Kamuzu and were told he had made a stop-over in Kenya.

She then said that when Kamuzu finally arrived, he went on to address them.

According to Mayi Dinala, Kamuzu said ’’I have come to Malawi but with no money. So please use your hoes to work hard in the fields because the country’s wealth is in the soil”.

‘’I was there and I saw him with my own eyes. Many people who later took positions in MCP were not there, they just heard the stories. Kamuzu wanted to rest in one of the buildings owned by Lubani in Chirimba but was told the house was incomplete,’’ Dinala said.

She added that when Kamuzu took the leadership, she was given positions but refused, only to become Branch Chairlady in Chitawira area in Blantyre.

Mayi Dinala said Kamuzu knew her very well and at some point in time, they could interact.

‘’Kamuzu was a good man. People talked a lot about him. What I can say is that Kamuzu’s name was being dented by people who surrounded him. Kamuzu never knew most of the bad things people were doing, ‘’she added.

According to Dinala, Kamuzu never knew that people were forcing citizens to buy party cards or that some were being arrested and punished for failing to have one.

She said people were still recognising her as one of the strong MCP party members because she was preaching and practicing love and peace other than hatred.

She added that during party rallies, she could ferry people to and from their areas and feed them, using her own money.

She stressed that she never became who she was because of the party but through hard work.

Late Mayi Dinala said she never wanted to join other political parties because doing so would have been akin to Judas Escaliot, who betrayed Jesus Christ.

‘’I grew up in MCP and will die as MCP,’’ she said.

In her own explanation from one of the interviews, Mayi Dinala vowed that she would never forget Kamuzu Banda, through whom she was taught to hold the pillars of the party, which include loyalty, unity, obedience and discipline.

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