- Synod demands development of Heroes’ Acre
CCAP Synod of Livingstonia has asked political leaders in the country to properly develop the Heroes’ Acre in Mzuzu.
The synod’s general secretary Reverend Levi Nyondo made the call on Saturday during the burial of Professor David Rubadiri, who became the second person to be laid to rest at the Heroes’ Acre in Mzuzu.
In his speech, Nyondo called on Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe, Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya, Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera, Minister of Transport Jappie Mhango and MCP second vice-president Harry Mkandawire to lead the development of the place.
“That is a Heroes’ Acre. We already have people that will look into construction of a fence for the facility. We have Mzuzu City legislator Leonard Njikho, Mkandawire, Gondwe, Msowoya and Mhango.
“One day, it will be you politicians being buried here. So you have to take this call seriously. This is our heroes’ acre, we have to respect the place, so be serious with my call,” he said.
Gondwe, who represented President Peter Mutharika, said he remembers Rubadiri as a great teacher, but also as one of the people who fought for the country’s independence.
“He was jailed for fighting for independence. The country has to be grateful for his fight for independence. Rubadiri has also helped to market Malawi. People in other countries know Malawi because of him. This is why the President is concerned that Malawi has lost an icon,” he said.
On his part, Chakwera urged Malawians to emulate Rubadiri’s life to ensure that the country progresses while Msowoya saluted Rubadiri for helping him to develop into a mature politician.
Msowoya said when he was Minister of Education, Rubadiri helped him to take the right action after Bingu wa Mutharika asked him to look into viability of the quota system.
Rubadiri died at Mzuzu Central Hospital on September 15 2018 at the age of 88. He is survived by his wife Gertrude Uzanda, 10 children, 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Born on July 19 1930, Professor James David Rubadiri was a diplomat, academic, poet, playwright and novelist. He is ranked as one of Africa’s most widely anthologised and celebrated poets to emerge after independence.
Rubadiri attended King’s College, Budo, in Uganda from 1941 to 1950 for his primary and secondary education, then studied at Makerere University in Kampala (1952-56), where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and History.
He later earned a masters’ degree in English Literature at King’s College, Cambridge, in addition to receiving a diploma in education from the University of Bristol.
Rubadiri taught at Dedza Secondary School from 1957 to 1958. In 1959, he was detained during the State of Emergency, along with other freedom fighters. In 1960, he got a Commonwealth scholarship to Cambridge University. In 1962, he was posted to Soche Hill College in Blantyre as the first African principal.
At independence, in 1964, Rubadiri was appointed Malawi’s first ambassador to the United States and the United Nations.
He left government in 1965, when he broke with president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda over Malawi ties with apartheid South Africa.