By Luke Chimwaza
President Dr Lazarus Chakwera today led Malawians in remembering the first hero of Malawi, Reverend John Chilembwe at the Providence Industrial Mission Headquarters in Chiradzulu district.
Chakwera, who upon arrival led in the laying of wreaths at the Chilembwe memorial tower before he went to view the mysterious Sanjika rock where the history has it that it is where John Chilembwe used to be studying and meditating on how to achieve his dreams of liberating people of Nyasaland (now Malawians) from the punitive colonial rulers, the British. It is from from the name of this rock where the first President of Malawi, Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda named Presidential residence in Blantyre to be called ‘Sanjika’ Palace to honour late Reverend John Chilembwe.
After turns of worship service and Intercessory Prayers by different leaders of faith and religious groups, President Chakwera addressed the gathering with words of advice to move away from acts of hate and unpatriotisim, but instead cultivate love for one another just like Chilembwe did.
“None of us can deny the fact that Chilembwe fought for our freedom. He is a symbol of African revolution that deserves a place of prominence apart from the national holiday.” He said.
“We must walk away from a sin of looking down upon a nation that was given to us. Always remember building a new Malawi we want is the decolonised mindset that we must all collectively have.” Chakwera added.
In his speech, Hon MacTimes, a law maker for Chiradzulu Central hailed President for in a space of about four months, he has visited Chiradzulu three times, a thing that speaks volumes of President’s love for the people of Chiradzulu. He however requested the President through ministry of Agriculture to speed up delivery of fertiliser to selling points in the area as reports indicate there’s insufficient stalk of the commodity in most selling depots.
Reverend Wilson Mitambo who spoke representing the Providence Industrial Mission while commending Chakwera for gracing the commemoration, hinted on the need for government to consider coming up with a ministry responsible for religious affairs which will ensure good working relationship between government and religious and faith groups.
At this year’s Chilembwe Day commemoration several political leaders including opposition and Tonse Alliance Party leaders, Faith and religious groups, civil society leaders, the diplomatic Corps, chief and thousands of people attended the function which was held under the theme ‘Malawi, stay away from sin’ taken from the Holy Bible in 2 Timothy chapter 3.