Malawi's Lost Years (1964-1994)

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Mzuni Press, Aug 10, 2016 - History - 260 pages
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Malawi is a small and poorly known country, but the crimes committed against its people by the brutal dictatorship of Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda are a part of our shared human history. It is about what happens when governments turn state violence on their own people with impunity. The book gives voice to Malawians who were arbitrarily imprisoned, who fled for their lives into exile, or who suffered silently under the regime's state-sponsored terror from 1964 to 1994. These are not easy stories for the victims to tell and people in power do not want them to be made public. To add to the indignity endured by the regime's victims, Malawi's current leadership has been rehabilitating Banda's image and honouring him, despite well-documented reports of atrocities and abuse of human rights. Nevertheless, even unpleasant history must be openly faced, discussed and acknowledged to provide lessons for the future. The book helps redress this one-sided revision of Malawian history. Fifty years after independence, the Malawi people continue to suffer in absolute poverty and in greater numbers than ever, because the lessons of history from Malawi's lost years have not been learned.
 

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Contents

Preface
iii
Acknowledgement
v
List of Acronyms and Vernacular Terms
vi
Foreword
viii
Chapter One Introduction
9
Chapter Two The Gathering Storm
28
State Terrorism Detention and Complicity
63
Exile The First Generation
101
State of Terror Suffering in Bitter Silence
157
Organised Opposition
177
Living With the Pain
209
Chapter Nine The Promised Land and the Democracy Bubble
228
Chapter Ten Conclusion
241
Appendix
249
List of references
258
Back cover
260

Exile Second and Third Generation
136

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2016)

Archibald Kapote Mwakasungura was a student activist who fled Malawi for exile in Tanzania in October 1964 when Kamuzu installed his brutal dictatorship. Kapote lived and studied in Dar es Salaam and later taught at the Mzumbe Institute of Development Management in Morogoro, now the University of Mzumbe. In 1974, he, together with four Malawians, founded the Socialist League of Malawi (LESOMA) and served as its highly respected Secretary-General. In the democratic dispensation in 1992-94, he became a key player as a member of the Transitional National Consultative Council (NCC) and helped to draw up the New Malawi Constitution. Later, he served as High Commissioner to Zimbabwe from 1995 to 1998. He is now retired and still an active politician. He is the Chairman of the Uraha Foundation Malawi, which oversees the prestigious Cultural and Museum Centre Karonga. He is also the Group Village Headman in his village at Kasoba where his young brother is the Paramount Chief of Karonga and Chitipa Districts.

Doug Miller - Originally from Ottawa, Doug taught in Malawi from 1968 to 1972 and married his fellow teacher, Nellie Saka, from Kasungu. He was Country Director for Canadian University Service Overseas in Malawi from 1975-76 but fled with his family into exile because the level of oppression had become unsafe and unbearable. There, he became active in LESOMA, the Socialist League of Malawi. In the early 1990s, Doug and Nellie were deeply involved in the Malawi Action Committee and Canadian Friends of Malawi, advocating and lobbying governments and international organisations to bring about an end to the Banda dictatorship. In retirement, he has been active as Director of Makupo Development Group in Montreal, which supports education, health, water, and income generation projects in the Chilanga area near Kasungu.

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