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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Banda's monuments and the narrativisation of Malawi's history in the post-Banda era
Author:Chirambo, ReubenISNI
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Geographic term:Malawi
heads of State
About person:Hastings Kamuzu Banda (ca1906-1997)ISNI
Abstract:The fall from power of former life president and dictator in Malawi, H.K. Banda, in 1994 drew mixed reactions from the people of Malawi. There were those who wanted Banda to account for the atrocities that had characterized his 30-year dictatorship. Others, however, simply yearned for national reconciliation, to enable the country to move on. In their view, Banda's reign, despite being a dictatorship, was credited with a long and stable socioeconomic programme. In addition, given his then advanced age, it seemed most Malawians wanted Banda to pass on quietly into oblivion as the country moved forward. Thus, when he died in 1997, the general feeling was that his death marked the end of his era and possibly his influence in Malawi's politics. However, on 14 May 2006 President Bingu wa Mutharika unveiled a mausoleum, which was the first in a series of monuments commemorating Banda planned for the capital city Lilongwe. The monuments, sponsored by the government of Malawi, celebrate Banda as a national hero. Family members and the ruling party in Malawi have dominated public debate about the nature and appropriateness of monuments for Banda. This paper argues that monuments, as a form of public memorialization of Banda, have implications for the narrative history of Banda's reign in Malawi, particularly when viewed in the context of the impact on victims of his dictatorship. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]