Government Backfires at Nkhata bay Martyrs

By: Thula Chisamba

Parliamentarian for Nkhatabay Boma cum private lawyer Ralph Mhone has questioned Malawi Foreign Affairs Minister George Chaponda on whether he will be of help in the process where Nkhata bay chiefs are demanding the British government to compensate the people who were shot in 1959 during a revolt against its colonial rule.

 Nkhata bay Martyrs grave
Nkhata bay Martyrs grave

The Malawi Star understands that recently, Traditional Authority Mkumbira of the district wrote the office of British High Commission to Malawi through the Foreign Affairs Ministry but no feedback has been given yet.

In the letter, Mkumbira urged the British government to speed up the process of compensating all victims of the 1959 mass killings that happened in Nkhata bay.

“We wrote them but no response has been given to us yet and we are surprised as to whether the letter was forwarded to British ambassador or they are just sitting on it,” said Mkumbira.

The delay has not gone well with Mhone who suggests that it is now time to meet the British government in court for judicial help on the matter.

He said the British government has shown lack of commitment to comply and the final stage of seeking solution should be the courts.

“We hear that in other countries, related matters are being pushed and some have already begun receiving help from Britain, what can fail Malawians to follow suit? We will take them to court as well,” said Mhone.

The Malawi Star team visit in Nkhatabay met about ten people who survived the fatal battle but are now disabled by the fatal bullets during the memorable revolt.

There are also about 50 families claiming to have lost their relatives in the battle for Malawi freedom.

However responding on behalf the government, Finance Minister and Economic Planning  Goodall Gondwe who represented president Peter Mutharika in commemorating the martyr’s in Nkhata bay recently, maintained that people advocating for the compensation move must hire private lawyers because government has no money to waste on that.

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