By Sitilitha Mpembenji
A memorial ceremony was held on Saturday in Chikwawa for 21 women and children who died in a road accident in Ntcheu on 1st August this year.
In the early hours of 1st August, sorrow engulfed Malawians following a fatal accident that claimed lives of 18 women and three children from Chikwawa district as they were travelling from Ntcheu district.
The accident occurred when a truck driver lost control and rammed into a passenger bus carrying the victims and another vehicle. All the victims hailed from Ngabu, Tomali and Nchalo in Chikwawa.
The memorial ceremony brought together Christians and Muslims. The message from all the men of God at the ceremony centred on love.
Deputy General Secretary of the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Gerald Kazembe, who represented President Lazarus Chakwera, assured the bereaved families of the government’s support.
He said the accident shocked the whole nation.
“Women play a crucial role in families and development of the nation. It is very devastating to lose 21 women at once. The State President is very concerned and has pledged to provide support to bereaved families.
“The president is sending a message of love; he is sending message of prayer; he is sending a message of consolation,” said Kazembe.
He further thanked organizers of the ceremony saying it is not simple to organize this kind of event.
“The President has therefore given me K300,000 for the equipment and other materials used for this event,” he added.
On his part, Member of Parliament for the area Salim Bagus thanked the President for ordering two days of national mourning when the victims died and for the various interventions, including buying of coffins, transport and other assistance during the funeral.
Other notable faces at the ceremony were leader of opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa, District Commissioner for Chikwawa and Paramount Chief Lundu.