Vice President Saulos Chilima has hailed the first President of Malawi the late Ngwazi Hastings Kamuzu Banda on Kamuzu Day – May 14 which was declared a public holiday by government – for his zeal to develop the country and that he was a brave person, who liked order, hardworking and also very decisive.
Chilima joined family members of Kamuzu Banda and president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Lazarus Chakwera with his party officials on Wednesday honoured Kamuzu by laying wreaths at his mausoleum in the capital city.
He said Kamuzu [Alidzi] is the first champion of democracy because he allowed Malawians to vote for a multiparty democracy when he called for a referendum and then gave up gracefully to Bakili Muluzi when he lost in 1994 elections.
“Had Kamuzu not agreed to a referendum there would be no democracy. Had Kamuzu not conceeded to usher in multiparty democracy there would be no democracy. So Kamuzu is the champion of democracy in Malawi,” said Chilima, who took an active role as a university student to fight one-party dictatorship and champion multiparty democracy.
Chilima further said Kamuzu should be hailed for fighting to liberate Malawians from colonial rule and that the legacy of the Father and Founder of the Malawi nation is the fulcrum around which the country will always hold.
He said Kamuzu upon arrival in Malawi he declared that he has came to end the “Stupid Federation [Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland]”.
Chilima said: “ That’s where we take our cue from; when you speak with decisiveness like when we say we will win [elections]! We mean just that we will win.”
He said: “There are three types of people; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder how things have happened. We want leaders in Malawi that make things happen not who wonder how things have happened. We do not want clueless leaders. We want people who can and who will.”
However, Chilima stressed that Kamuzu Day is an important and historic national event which must be remembered by the whole country.
Kamuzu Day falls on May 14, believed to be the birthday of Malawi’s founding Head of State.
He ruled Malawi for 31 years before losing power in 1994 to Bakili Muluzi following winds of change blowing at the time in this part of Africa.
He died in 1997 and hailed from Chiwengo village in the tobacco growing district of Kasungu.
Apart from speeches, the ceremony saw Chilima and others in wreath-laying on the tomb where Kamuzu—the country’s ruler from independence in 1964 to 1994—now rests.