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To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate: A Case of Malawi’s Independence

Malawi IndependenceThe Wikipedia defines independence as follows: Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over the territory. The opposite of independence is a dependent territory. Independence does not necessarily mean freedom.

 

 

A self-explaining definition that doesn’t need me to waste your precious time my dear readers to deliberate on. Only if we didn’t have debates in the social media as to whether Malawians need to spend an entire day reflecting on or celebrating depending on which side of the social divide you belong. Why? Because you celebrate if you belong to the ruling party or you are tasked just to reflect if you are not one them! But that must be subject for another day.

 

Those that think Malawi must scrape off the calendar her independence celebrations advance two reasons. One, Malawi relies on donors to run her affairs. Her budget requires a whopping 40% of donor goodwill to function. Without donors, Malawi therefore cannot claim to be independent since her economy relies on donors to stand even on one foot! Secondly, with her poverty, Malawi cannot afford to waste scarce resources in terms of finances to fund celebrations.

 

Interesting but worrisome arguments if you ask me for my opinion, I must say. One of the mistakes proponents of the anti-celebrations fail to bring in the fold is the genesis of the independence fight. A simple question that they must sincerely respond to in their hearts of hearts is: Did our forefathers have enough grounds to demand independence? While written and verbal accounts of people that were old enough to live the pre-independence era reveal compelling and sad accounts of the governance system and its ills, the irony with the current anti celebration proponents is that most of them are ‘born free men’ who have spent most of their life in the multiparty era!

 

Demeaning the sacrifice that our forefathers made for us to attain independence is a sad development that must not be allowed to be nurtured amongst us. Allowing ourselves to think along a few confused men that think making us the world’s first country to scrape off the calendar her independence will be asking to get into wrong books. Our forefathers will punish us, if as a Malawian, you see what I mean.

 

Perhaps what we should do as a nation is to pause and reflect as to whether this is the direction that our forefathers wanted to take when they fought for independence rather than blaming them for handing us the mandate to govern ourselves. May be we must collectively accept that we are not doing what we were supposed to be doing as a nation that chose to walk into independence. May be its high time we went back to the round table and agree to own our country, our independence and our collective destiny.

 

May be it is high time we celebrated as Malawians in one color not as a blue, yellow or orange camp. We must ask ourselves why during the one party system of MCP it was possible to have national celebrations that filtered down to district celebrations and managed to serve as a unifying factor that people looked forward to every year. Only then, may be, we shall not have some amongst us who will think celebrating independence is not worthy the salt.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Maravi Post

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