Jessie Kabwira
Jessie Kabwira

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)—Just a week before Malawians celebrate 52 years of independence, government has come clearly that no usual pomp and glamour festival will be conducted this year due to what they are saying ailing economy the nation is currently passing through.

This has not gone down well with major opposition political parties; Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party (PP) describing the development as executive’s undemocratic line of thinking of personalizing national events including independence celebration.

On Monday, June 27,  George Mkondiwa, Malawi Governments Chief Secretary told the media that the only event to take place to mark 52 years of the country’s independence will be a national service of worship slated for Bingu International Convention Center (BICC) in the capital Lilongwe.

Chief Secretary Mkondiwa said that under normal circumstance, government would have organized traditional dances, military displays and football match for the flames as part of the celebration.

Mkondiwa further said that the national service of worship will be a way of asking God to intervene in the various challenges facing the nation including albino killings.

“We would have celebrated in every way possible if we had the money. But the only activity we can manage to organize is the national service of worship. That’s what we can afford for now,” said Mkondiwa.

But reacting to the development on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post, Dr. Jessie Kabwira, MCPs Spokesperson, questioned the idea of cancelling of the national festival on lack funds while all in all the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government plans to purchase 11 new cars for the presidential convoy.

Dr. Kabwira who is also a law maker for Salima North West Constituency noted that the cancellation of the independence celebration  will not alleviate the suffering the citizens are facing following other expenditures government want to spend on presidential office.

Kabwira said though MCP appreciates decisions made in consideration of what Malawians are going through, she was quick to say the party was surprised to learn that government plans to decorate the presidency.

“That will definitely not going to alleviate the suffering of Malawians. In fact it will enhance it. The DPP government should be consistent. It must probe the MK599 billion cash gate issue that we restore confidence in our fiscal character . Corruption must be stopped in all government agencies that we have money for celebration of independence.

“We are in this position because the DPP government doesn’t know how to prioritize issues. We are busy beautifying roundabouts when there is no medication in hospitals and only 30 boreholes planned for this fiscal year plan. Not only that but also government insists on Malata Subsidy Program despite research showing this program is not reaching the poor and fraught with politicization. It is being given to DPP members in readiness of 2019 elections,” alleges Kabwira.

Echoing on the same, Ken Msonda, PPs Spokesperson said independence celebrations should not be compromised on pretense that government wants to save funds.

Msonda observed that an independence celebration is a national pride and Malawians celebrate the hard fought republic and independence.

“We in PP understand the executive’s undemocratic line of thinking to cancel the celebrations; most of the DPP leadership now at Capital Hill running the affairs of government were in “self exile” only to return home after we attained multiparty democracy. The leadership cant appreciate what Malawians went through to attain independence.

“What government should have done was to cut down on some of the unnecessary expenditure and reduce of blotted fake figures the DPP used to add on the celebrations budget and not cancel the whole event. The DPP administration should not play the “holier than thou attitude; shouldn’t pretend to be Angels when they are “wolves in a sheep skin,” said Msonda.

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