People’s Party calls for special fund for July 20 victims

Mzuzu, People’s Party (PP) says there is need for government and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to come up with Freedom Fund to support bereaved families’ members of the 20 July 2011 protests.

Speaking on Thursday in Mzuzu on behalf of PP at the unveiling ceremony of tombstones of eight people who died in the protests, Member of Parliament for Mzimba North, Agnes Nyalonje, said the Freedom Fund will assist the deceased’s families to meet their basic needs.

“These people died because they wanted some things to change in this country. These are our heroes and, therefore, their families should be well taken care of,” Nyalonje said.

She said, through this special fund, every family that was affected on that day (July 20, 2011) will be assisted accordingly without any bias.

Nyalonje said it is pathetic to see that some children of the deceased are failing to go to school as they are failing to meet their basic needs.

Taking his turn, Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) President, Enock Chihana, said there is need for the government to set July 20 as a day of national mourning.

“These people died as Malawians and they will always remain Malawians. So let us give them due respect,” he said.

Commenting on the matter, Church and Society Director of CCAP Synod of Livingstonia Moses Mkandawire said the idea is good, but the implementation has been a challenge.

Mkandawire said CSOs already opened a bank account for the same goal, but no one has come forth with any contribution.

“Let us hope this time around, it will work because it has come from the mouth of politicians,” he said.

A representative of the bereaved families, Mercy Mbezuma Mfune, thanked all well wishers that took part in contributing towards the construction of the tombstones.

Mfune called on government and NGOs to continue supporting the bereaved families saying they are passing through difficult times.

During the memorial ceremony, leaders of opposition parties such as Dr Lazarus Chakwera, Former Vice-President Khumbo Kachali and Chihana laid wreaths on the tombstones.

This year’s July 20 memorial ceremony started with a church service led by CCAP Synod of Livingstonia and the Anglican Church.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA