To some people, Bingu might be their hero but to the communities of Karonga and Chitipa he is an embodiment of something that they do not want to be associated with.
Communities of the said areas are planning to take a strong action against government for its failure to reverse its decision to name the Karonga-Chitipa road as the ‘Bingu Highway’, months after they petitioned Capital Hill.
In May this year, President Peter Mutharika named the road after his late brother saying it was the wish of traditional leaders of both districts to honour late Bingu wa Mutharika.
But speaking after their meeting on Saturday, the group leader Steven Simusokwe said they don’t want their road to be named Bingu Highway because the name reminds them of bad things.
“The aim of the today’s meeting was to find ways of expressing our concerns because what we have observed is that government is not taking our grievances seriously,” said Simusokwe.
“We are still against this name because the late Bingu Mutharika did bad things to us such as the reintroduction of quota system of selecting public universities students, killing of 20 demonstrators on 20 July, 2011, making Karonga not to be a municipality and Kayerekera issues among others,” he disclosed.
According to him, the name Bingu deserves to be remembered at the Zolozolo cemetery where the 20 July victims are being buried. The communities have since listed some names of their heroes whom they are proposing to be named after the road.
Among the names include Dunduzu Chisiza, Rodwell Munyenyembe, Chief Kyungu and Kinnah Phiri. They agreed to take the name that has more votes though they are also open to maintain the name Karonga-Chitipa road.
“We shall then hold a strong protest at the District Commissioner’s office to demand government to endorse the selected name,” said Simsokwe. Meanwhile, Simsokwe has asked well-wishers to assist them financially or with advice in order to win the battle.