People of Nkhata Bay District have asked government to consider including annual 3rd March martyrs commemorations into the national budget as a solution to the challenges the organizing committee encounters every year.
Martyrs Day commemoration is held to remember people who were killed on 3rd March, 1959 in various parts of the country by the British colonial government forces in protest against the oppressive rule.
In Nkhata Bay several people were shot at the jetty and were buried in mass graves at Kakumbi in the district.
Every year religious leaders lead the nation in holding martyrs memorial service at Nkhata Bay Boma.
Speaking Saturday during this year’s memorial service, the organizing committee chairperson Traditional Authority (TA) Timbiri expressed concern that every year the commemorations rely on financial contributions from well-wishers.
“Third March commemoration appears as if is for people of Nkhata Bay District only because, every year, we rely on contributions from well-wishers. But it’s a national thing,” TA Timbiri said.
His sentiments were echoed by Kalambwe CCAP Reverend Jairos Khamisa who said for the martyrs to be honoured, there is need to include it in the national budget.
“Martyrs’ remembrance memorial service is a national event and government needs to include the event in the national budget so that it is honoured,” he said.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe, who was guest of honour, said 3rd March is as important as 6th July, the Independence Day.
“As government, we don’t have problems including the event in the national budget but opposition members of parliament should support it in the august house,” he said.
Speaking in a separate interview, leader of opposition in parliament, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, Lazarus Chakwera said there is no problem to include the event in the national budget.
“This is an important event as far as history of the country is concerned. We are going to support it in parliament as opposition members if it will be included in the national budget,” Chakwera said.
State President Arthur Peter Mutharika and Chakwera contributed K500, 000, and K200, 000, respectively, towards this year’s event, among other contributors.
The dignitaries and other people who attended the event laid wreaths at the memorial pillar.