By Thula Chisamba
His spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani, told a local radio station that President Mutharika was “not concerned” with the memorial ceremony of civilians who were shot dead on 20 July, 2011.
According to Kalilani, Mutharika was not even shaken because organizers of the event didn’t forward him an invitation letter.
“That was a private event and organizers had the right to choose who to invite and who should not attend the ceremony so the President is not shaken with that,” said Kalilani.
The remarks have not pleased members from the bereaved families who have described the sentiments as childish to come from the head of state.
Representative for the families, Mercy Mfune, said they expected Mutharika to act as a loving leader and father of Malawi by joining hands with mourners in remembering victims of the anti-government protests.
“Maybe he is not aware that the bereaved families are suffering. Why should he say a thing like this? That is unreasonable from such a higher office and we need an apology from him,” fumed Mfune.
On his part, leader of opposition and Malawi congress party President, Lazarus Chakwera, told our reporter that he will introduce the topic in parliament, citing that he was deeply touched by the situation the bereaved families are sailing in.
“It’s very unreasonable to learn that government is not committed to compensate the bereaved families and construct tombstones for the victims. I will make sure this is tabled in parliament because it is a matter of national interest,” he said.
On Wednesday, 20 July this year, Malawians commemorated the day when 20 people were shot dead in Mzuzu amid an intense anti-government protest in 2011.
One of the people who took part in organising the protests, Moses Mkandawire, said he was equally astounded to learn that for five years now, government is still failing to honor promises to compensate families of the deceased and construct tombstones for the victims of the brutal killings.
Among notable guests who attended the memorial ceremony were politicians, members of the civil society and the clergy.