President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has called upon Malawians to emulate the life of the late Rev. John Chilembwe, whom he said sacrificed his own life for the sake of oppressed people in his country.
Chakwera said this on Monday at Providence Industrial Mission (PIM) in Chiradzulu district, where he led Malawians in commemorating Chilembwe Day and Memorial Service of Worship.
The President said Chilembwe demonstrated a spirit of hard work and patriotism.
He said Malawians ought to emulate that spirit in order to improve their livelihoods.
He, therefore, called upon people to work hard in all areas including farming and education to ensure that poverty and hunger is lessened in the country.
“Chilembwe had an industrialisation vision.
“It is worrisome that over the years, government and churches have not committed themselves to promote such.
“My government is committed to fulfil Chilembwe’s dream in making Malawi an industrialised nation as stipulated in the Malawi 2063.
Due to Chilembwe’s contributions to Malawi, I hereby declare that Phalombe District Hospital be called John Chilembwe Hospital,” said Chakwera.
In his remarks, President of PIM in Malawi, Rev. Wilson Mitambo said the church will offer continued support to government in development saying, as a church, they need a better Malawi that is geared in uplifting the living standards of people.
“We realise that education is key to the development of a country. As PIM, we have plans to establish a university and build secondary schools here in Chiradzulu, but we are going to need the support of government,” said Mitambo.
In his remarks, Member of Parliament for Chiradzulu Central Constituency, McTimes Malowa appealed to government to consider scaling up beneficiaries in the Affordable Inputs Programme to ensure food security in the district and the country at large.
Born in 1871, Chilembwe died on February 3, 1915 and was buried at Esparanza Estate in Mulanje district.
Before his death, Chilembwe established PIM church in 1900 and in October 1914, he wrote his first pastoral letter condemning the Nyasaland Government and asked it to address grievances of Malawians.
In December, 1915 he wrote a second letter which the colonial government promised to respond, but was later warned of an arrest, and this led him to start an uprising on January 3, 1915 leading to his death.
The 2024 Chilembwe Day and Memorial service was held under the theme “Enlarge Our Territories Lord”.
President Chakwera, Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima and cabinet ministers donated K4 million, K3.5 million and K6.5 million respectively to PIM.