Families of July 20 victims speak out, demands justice: Memorial on Monday

Families of 21 people who were brutally gunned down by police during late Bingu Wa Mutharika’s administration for paying a foot in the anti-government protests on July 20, 2011 in Mzuzu have renewed their demands for justice on their kindred fate.

Speaking during the sidelines of preparation for this year’s memorial ceremony slated for Monday, July 20, 2020, spokesperson for the families, Mercy Mbesuma recounted her new hope on the new government to serve them with justice that those who took part in the shooting should be brought to the book.

“We believe that the only way to bring serenity in our relatives’ spirits is through pursuit of justice on all the police officers who were involved in the shootings that day,” Mbesuma lamented.

She added: “Our families are struggling. As you know, the people who were killed by the police were our sore bread winners. They left us in a lot of problems.”

On July 20, 2011, civil society organizations staged mass demonstrations against the late Bingu Wa Mutharika’s administration, which by then, was deemed incompetent.

“Things had gone worse by then,” recounted Mbesuma.

“Many things were not available. Prices of things went up. There was no fuel and this compelled people, including our fallen relatives to take it to the streets to demonstrate against the then government,” she said.

Moses Mkandawire who also took part in the revolt confided to our reporter that what transpired during that fateful day showed that political authorities then had turned into dictators.

Mkandawire disclosed that as Civil Society Organizations, they are always supportive to the bereaved families of people who lost their relations during the protests.

“We make sure that memorial ceremonies of our fallen heroes are conducted yearly with support from other well-wishers,” said Mkandawire.

This year’s memorial ceremony will, as usual, be observed at Zolozolo cemetery led by the CCAP Synod of Livingstionia.

According to the organizers of the event, they will make sure the ceremony is conducted in adherence in line with all public health guidelines to avoid further spread of Corona virus.

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