Malawi President Joyce Banda on Sunday participated in the celebration of the Martyrs’ Day when the country honours political heroes who gave their lives in the struggle against British colonialism.
The President led several dignitaries in laying wreaths for the heroes and heroines at Nkhata Bay Boma. She said people in the country were determined to sacrifice their lives which have led to the freedoms being enjoyed today.
“People made sacrifices in this country,” said Banda. “The government has set up a ministerial committee to have a heroes acre to honour our heroes. All the heroes deserve dignity.”
The President said the ministerial committee will be consulting members of identified heroes on possibility of exhuming their remains.
She said the committee will consult families of the late Chakufwa Chihana, Dunduzu Chisiza, John Chilembwe for possible exhumation of their remains for reburial at a heroes acre.
Nkhata Bay Central Member of Parliament Symon Vuwa Kaunda stole the show when he described Banda as president of all political parties in the country.
Kaunda, who is MP for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in his jovial mood thanked the President for pumping more resources into the construction of Nkhata Bay District Hospital and for providing funds for the construction of the Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay Road.
Kaunda promised the President of his support in Parliament on the supplementary budget saying it has funds for drugs and increased salaries for the civil servants.
On March 3 1959, British forces declared a state of emergency and orchestrated Operation Sunrise, arresting prominent Malawian nationalists and other dissidents.
Fury over the arrests of these resistance leaders precipitated the deaths of more than 20 demonstrators. In total, 51 were killed, over 1 300 were detained, and many more were wounded during the state of emergency, which lasted until 1960.