By Patseni Mauka
This is for you who are too young to know, too lazy to read and analyze, too naive to believe .
In 1987, after Dr Jack Mapanje, a brilliant English Lecturer at Chancellor College, was arrested, ambushed and driven to Southern Region Police headquarters, Inspector General Elliot Mbeza and about 8 Police Commissioners including Mac William Lunguzu, Juliana Lunguzi’s father interrogated him as follows;
Mbeza: “Dr Mapanje, welcome. And gentlemen, thank you for making time to come at a short notice. Dr Mapanje, I am Inspector General Elliot Mbeza and the chairman of this country’s security council. At 11:00 a.m this morning I was summoned by his excellency the life president Ngwazi Dr H Kamuzu Banda to update him on the country’s security
I perform such duties every Friday. But after our deliberations today, his excellency has directed me to arrest you and imprison you, Dr Mapanje. He did not tell me why; I did not ask him why; and since it is a directive from above, I must tell you we are not going to investigate your case. It would be questioning the wisdom of his excellency, the highest authority in the land.
I invited these commissioners from their posts all the country, therefore, to find out if there is anything in our files about you. There is nothing. I repeat, Dr Mapanje, these commissioners say you are not in our books. So before we take you to prison according to the wishes of his excellency, we thought we should ask you just three questions.
1. Who are you?
2. Why do you think we should detain and imprison you?
3. What have you done to each other in the university to warrant imprisonment?
Just like that Mapanje was held for three-and-a-half years before being released in 1991. After his release, he was told he needed to reapply for his previous professorship at the University of Malawi. After a lengthy delay in his application, he instead emigrated to the UK.
Mapanje and others lived to tell their stories but some were murdered or died in prison. The Principal of Chancellor College was Zimani Kadzamira, brother to Cecelia Kadzamira, Kamuzu’s partner.
This is the legacy of MCP, Kamuzu, the Kadzamira and Tembo families. MCP should never come back to power, it should disband!