President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has said Malawians will never forget the 22 Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers who died in a road accident on November 2, 2017 at Mapanjira in Mzimba district.
The President made the remarks on Friday during the MDF memorial service at Kamuzu Barracks Parade Square in Lilongwe.
“One year ago we met here to bury 22 soldiers who lost their lives while on duty, today we have met here again to remember their lives and to celebrate the sacrifice they made, we cannot forget 22 lives being lost in one tragedy, in short we will never forget them,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika said that the nation had hopes and dreams in them, saying that they were the future of the military in the country.
The president assured the bereaved families that government will make sure that MDF pays them all their dues in time.
Mutharika assured the MDF that as Commander in Chief he will always march forward with them in happiness and in sorrow as well as in peace and war.
Mutharika read scriptures from Hebrews 11:3-4 before he made a speech.
MDF Commander General Griffin Supuni Phiri said the November 2 accident remains the biggest tragedy in the history of the Malawi Defence Force.
“As the Malawi Defence Force we were and we are deeply saddened by the deaths of our soldiers who died in a road accident in Mzimba” said Phiri.
Supuni said the soldiers that lost their lives included three instructors and 19 recruits who had just finished their military training.
Supuni hailed Mutharika for showing his love for the fallen soldiers saying when the tragedy happened, the president was equally shocked and was the first one to condole the MDF before he declared three days of mourning.
Speaking on behalf of the bereaved families, Violet Kasonda said the families have fresh memories about the deaths of their loved ones and that it was hard to forget the tragedy.
MDF spokesperson Major Paul Chiphwanya disclosed that gratuities were now ready and sent to respective district commissioners.