By Chisomo Phiri
President Lazarus Chakwera has described one of the county’s historical heroes late Reverend John Chilembwe as a selfless and patriotic man, a hero, whose vision was for the benefit of all Malawians, and not only his clan, tribe or religion.
Speaking at the commemoration of Chilembwe day held at Providence Industrial Mission ( PIM) in Chiradzulu on Sunday, Chakwera asked Malawians to emulate the spirit of patriotism and selflessness.
The Malawi leader said, if people continue to back bite, speak ill of others and pull each other down, Malawi will not develop.
” John Chilembwe’s courage in emancipating natives from inhumane treatment by colonial formations remains an indelible symbol of national sacrifice to this day.
“We should, therefore, continue drawing valuable lessons of patriotism from 108 years ago and let the same orient our current quest of shaping a new Malawi with shared prosperity,” said Chakwera.
On his part, Culture and Tourism minister Michael Usi bemoaned the tendency by Malawians in castigating their leaders.
Usi said, most Malawians are busy calling president Lazarus Chakwera and his vice Saulos Chilima names despite the efforts and progress they are making for the good of the country.
Said Usi ‘’God” will judge reprimand those who speak evil of their leaders.”
Born in June, 1872 and died on February 3, 1915, John Nkologo Chilembwe was a Baptist pastor, educator and revolutionary who trained as a minister in the United States, returning to Nyasaland in 1901.
He was an early figure in the resistance to colonialism in Nyasaland (Malawi), opposing both the treatment of Africans working in agriculture on European-owned plantations and the colonial government’s failure to promote the social and political advancement of Africans.
Soon after the outbreak of the First World War, Chilembwe organised an unsuccessful armed uprising against colonial rule.