a memorial seminar on Dr Atati Mpakati
By Patience Abeck
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s Lost History Foundation says the assassination of the late Dr. Attati Mpakati under the Kamuzu Banda regime should be a benchmark for re-discovery of Malawi’s lost history.
The grouping therefore appeals to Malawian historian, writers and political scientists to seize the opportunity of the existence of rich history for research and publication.
Addressing the news conference after a memorial seminar on Dr Atati Mpakati in the capital Lilongwe Saturday, Conleith Chester Selenje, Research coordinator for Lost History Foundation observed that Dr Mpakati played a great role in the history of the Nation because he had a core value which he was fighting for.
Selenje therefore rubbished claims that the event was aimed at smearing the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) public image ahead of this year’s May 21 tripartite elections.
“The problem is that people are associating everything with politics and the coming elections but elections are elections and this is history it can be pursued any time, we are doing this as a project disregarding political affiliations”, said Selenje.
He said Dr Mpakati played a great role in the history of the Nation because he had a core value which he was fighting for.
“It’s unfortunate that the core values which he was fighting for was not fulfilled because at the very end his life was ended abruptly but still if you can study his values and ideas you can see that this was a man who wished his nation well”, he said.
Selenje however downplayed the presence of the ex Returnees and ex detainees at the event saying they were invited to the event in order to provide them with a platform to air out their burning issues.
“These people are part of a Malawi which was stuck at that time and you know that they have burning in their hearts so a gathering like this provides a platform for them to air out their experiences”said he.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson Timothy Mtambo said the late Mpakati history should not be politicized and avoid pointing out a certain political of behind the assassination but rather a system of government.
Under the theme, “Malawians in the struggle for human rights in Malawi: The life and Times of Dr Atati Mpakati”, the seminar aimed at providing a framework to advocate for the establishment truth without which genuine reconciliation is attainable.
According Selenje position paper, Dr Atati Mpakati was the leader of Socialist League of Malawi(LESOMA)until his assassination in Zimbabwe Harare on 23 March 1983 by Kamuzu Banda’s assailants who had successfully infiltrated LESOMA.
Dr Mpakati was on reported to be on his way from Maputo to visit his family in Sweden with a stop over in Harare for LESOMA assignments according to Zimbabwe Republic police (ZRP).
He was abducted on 23rd March 1983 right from his lodging room at Park Lane hotel.The ZRP reported that he had died of gunshots wounds and his body was found dumped in a ditch opposite the Park Lane hotel.