BY UCHIZI MBANGE
President Lazarus Chakwera has said it is imperative that each and everyone in the country should learn all stanzas of the national anthem, saying it speaks richly about peace and unity for nation building.
Currently, Malawians sing only the first stanza of the anthem – which emphatically dwells on freedom – but leaves the second and third stanzas except during such national celebrations as Independence Day.
Speaking during the country’s first ever National Day of Unity and Dialogue at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in the capital Lilongwe under the theme ‘Living Together in Unity, Build Peace’, Chakwera appealed to Malawians to “build Malawi together” and serve the country selflessly.
“Even though the country’s founding instruments of the nation bear unity and freedom, the country has embraced freedom but despised unity.
“The country is in a state where people sponsor protests devised to divide but without national heroes to build unity,” said Chakwera.
Speaking earlier, Minister of National Unity, Timothy Mtambo, said the day was worth celebrating.
“Peace and unity are essential for development [because] a country whose citizens are united attracts foreign investors,” said Mtambo, adding: “Political parties, traditional and religious leaders should continue guiding citizens at all levels for the nation to remain peaceful and united.”
At the function, various ethnic groups converged to showcase their diversity in culture, food, dress and dances. The event also brought together different political parties.
The National Day of Unity was conceptualized by the Ministry of Unity to accord Malawians a chance to celebrate and reflect on the need to promote unity and peace as a catalyst for development.