returnees and ex-detainees Chairperson Sangwani Mkandawire (on far right)
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Returnees and Ex-detainees Association of Malawi, a grouping of victims of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) dictatorial rule on Wednesday started a three day vigil demanding their dues.
The vigil seeks intervention on their concerns from both MCP and President Peter Mutharika which have not been addressed for years since partial payment during Bakili Muluzi era.
The camping comes a month after the grouping rejected MCP President Lazarus Chakwera’s public apology over the party’s past atrocities.
The group described the apology as an insult to the association arguing that was not formally engaged that only talked to his church members.
The association demanded that Chakwera should instead formally meet its leadership in the next seven days and that if this fails, the victims will camp at MCP’s Headquarters.
The returnees and ex-detainees Chairperson Sangwani Mkandawire told The Maravi Post that vigil runs from May 15 to May 17, 2019 expecting MCP and government officials to address them.
Over 60 association’s members drawn from Mangochi, Karonga and Lilongwe are participating in the vigil.
Mkandawire disclosed that the only money paid was in the range of MK15, 000 and MK20, 000 as partial payment when National tribunal office was in existence but now is closed.
“We wish to remind Hon Chakwera that it is very difficult to forgive and forget the MCP past atrocities based on a political podium apology rather than through a formal truth and reconciliation process which will facilitate justice for all the victims.
“After three days of vigil elapses, we will go back to the drawing board what next move to take as we have suffered a lot for year on this matter”, said Mkandawire.
Instead responding to concerns former detainees raised, MCP Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka resorted to threaten the Maravi Post “claiming that it covers the party unfairly”.
The MCP SG made the threats in the presence of other reporters from various media houses including MIJ FM, MBC, Nyasa Times, Luso TV and Nation Publication Limited.
“I can’t grant an interview to Maravi Post. We will deal with you after May 21. We there,” threatens Mkaka.
On 17th March 2019, during prayers held in Malawi’s Capital Lilongwe, Chakwera made an apology over MCP’s “evil” past and sought for forgiveness.
During the prayers, MCP is alleged to have fronted a supposedly son of another victim who accepted the apology on behalf of all the victims, a development which has angered the returnees and ex-detainees.