The family of freedom fighter Chakufwa Chihana has given a glimpse of his book whose draft made headlines after his death on June 12 2006, saying it stalled due to a harsh political climateâ€” but could be published posthumously this year.
In an interview, Sports Minister Enoch Chihana and his sister Nina said their fatherâ€”a trade unionist that spearheaded the country’s transition from founding president Kamuzu Banda’s dictatorship to the 19-year-old multiparty democracyâ€”left the manuscript in drafts which have so far been typed and polished in readiness for publication.
“The manuscript was incomplete; it’s still in its infancy. As such, the family entrusted my sister, Nina, with the responsibility to finish it. I hope it will be out by the end of this year,” said the minister, one of the two parliamentarians for Alliance for Democracy (Aford), the party his father founded as a pressure group amid his emancipation battle in 1992.
And Nina revealed in a separate interview that she finished typing the manuscripts two years ago and handed them over to Chihana’s widow, Christina.
She described Chihana senior’s book as a scholarly work about the coming of Dr Banda in 1959, 31 years of his repressive one-party rule and the author’s role in turning things around.
Said Nina: “This is a vital book for universities in southern Africa and beyond. I handed over the manuscripts to mum for review and she is yet to find a reputable reviewer to go through the paperwork.
â€œHowever, it has taken us this long because the political system was not conducive. We hope to launch it together with Chakufwa Chihana Centre this year if the political environment will continue to be as promising as it looks.”
Chihana’s daughter could not be drawn to elaborate what she meant by the unfavourable political system.
However, the Chihanas openly criticised the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s seven years for leaving the multiparty icon’s grave at Kawiluwilu in Mzuzu overgrown and ransackedâ€”a stark abandonment of the man who served as the countryâ€™s second vice-president during Bakili Muluziâ€™s era.
She said the family is yet to meet to come up with the title and publishers of the long-awaited book.
In consultation with reputable reviewers, theyÂ will select one of the six suggested titles, Nina revealed.