Authors of the newly-published book, Malawi’s Lost Years, 1964-1994: Forsaken Heroes and Heroines, have described the Kamuzu Banda regime of 1964 to 1994 as years during which the country lost a lot in terms of social and economic opportunities as brilliant Malawians were forced into exile.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the book in Lilongwe on Saturday, authors Kapote Mwakasungula and Douglas Miller noted that during Banda’s regime, intelligent Malawians were forced into exile; hence not contributing to Malawi’s social economic development.
Mwakasungula said: “Some people who could have helped in the development of this country were forced into exile during Kamuzu Banda’s regime. For example, I was in exile for 30 years after running away from his regime. Many Malawians in exile ended up contributing to the development of their host countries instead of their mother country, Malawi.
“In this book, we are showing how Malawi lost such great opportunities. For us to write this book we conducted interviews with different Malawians who told us their touching stories.”
Some of the interviewees in the book are former vice president Justin Malewezi, former Member of Parliament Khwauli Msiska and first cabinet minister in Kamuzu Banda’s cabinet, the late Rose Chibambo.
Former speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda, who was the guest of honour during the launch, said the book will help Malawians to learn from past mistakes and stick to tenets of democracy.
Chimunthu Banda, an author himself, noted: “Not only has the book provided the historical concept in which the Malawi state and its politics is located, more importantly, the book challenges the current generation not to bury our heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich, but to keep asking difficult questions about the post-transition Malawian state. The more important question is: has democratisation been a turning point away from the old politics of one party system or, as negative labels seem to suggest, do we have a situation of ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same?”