02:14 am - Wednesday 21 November 2018

Remebering past presidents: is this the duty of the government or the familiy?

By Analytical Rose - Sun Jun 02, 6:39 pm

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Malawi: I was listening to , what I must say was one of some what interesting speeches I have heard our president Joyce Banda give. The occasion was in Kasungu at a gathering remembering the late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda. As I say one could see that she did try to give the content of the speech some thought and organisation and it was interesting to hear how she grew up within the Kamuzu era and what impressions that era left within her. I have been digesting some of the things she said in the speech and there is a particular subject that bothers me a bit She said  to the Kamuzu family “inu a banja la Kamuzu ndu kuthokozani chifukwa ziri kwa inu kumukumbuka m’bale wanu, ndi kwa inu kuyesetsa kuti anthu asayiwale za m’bale wanu” To you the family of Kamuzu, it is up to you to remember your relative.

I have no doubt she meant well when she said this. I am certain of this because prior to this in her speech she complained of how in malawi we allow history to be easily forgotten, she sighted the example of political events that she saw herself, things that Kamuzu achieved and the present day Malawian student does not know about it! I agreed with her then. I was then expecting her to say with effect from now I am restoring civics in all schools, with effect from now I am going to demand that we start a programme of remembering our past leaders; what I got was this, I suppose encouragement to the Kamuzu family to keep the beat up so that Kamuzu does not get forgotten by the rest of the world.

Kamuzu Banda

Kamuzu Banda

Why I have written my fellow country men is to ask each every one to think about this topic carefully, each country has its history, Joyce Banda is right in saying that we need to keep our growing population up to date in our schools about where we came from which makes sense of where we are going as a country. This is huge responsibility which in my thinking can not be left to the family alone. The government should come up with a programme of preserving the contributions of every great leader we have had. They will all have made their successes and their messes but the important issue is that THE NATION should be the first to remember these people in their death. When Kamuzu was alive he was OUR president in death he should remain our presdient- passed. I have no illusions about some people liking one president and not liking the other. When it comes to this I am afraid I expect objectivity, we are talking about the history of a nation and we can’t afford to be emotional about it.

So I would like to appeal to the government now and in future, I know we have no money, I know we are poor but we cannot leave the big chunk of history to families alone, in The Staes each president builds a libray which is a record of what happened in the pesidency! yes this may not be attainable for us at present but lets think of a way of preserving our history in such a way that it will be remembered and learned by our future citizen. That way is via the government of the day not just the families that have lost their relative.

In the final anlysis a president is essentially a president for all. I know that Malawians have not felt this lately and may  be it is Joyce Banda’s tendency to to be partisan that made her say this as a Malawian I would this not see this as the way forward becuase a lot of very important history will be lost.The idea of a heroes acre is a start, we can only refine it as time goes by and our resources get better managed and our economy can afford more than at present.

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