This year’s Reverend John Chilembwe Day’s memorial service of worship has been suspended due to the current upsurge of Coronavirus cases in the country.
A statement from the Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi indicates that this has been done following consultations with the concerned parties.
“Following consultations with the leadership of Providence Industrial Mission (PIM), Government wishes to inform the general public that the Rev. John Chilembwe Memorial service of worship which, as per tradition was scheduled to be held on 15th January, 2021 has been suspended,” reads the statement.
It further stated that the day remains a public holiday in Malawi and the country will quietly honour the huge contribution made by the departed freedom fighter.
Chikhosi cited the suspension, cancellation or postponement of all major public events as some of the measures aimed at containing further spread of the virus until the situation improves.
A western educated Nyasaland missionary, Chilembwe led an abortive largely symbolic uprising against British rule in 1915 and is seen as a forerunner and martyr of Malawi nationalism.
He was one of the first Africans to speak of Nyasaland at a time when the vast majority of his fellow subjects cared only for tribal identification.
As of 13th January, Malawi had registered 591 new COVID-19 cases, 12 new recoveries, and 21 new deaths. Of the new cases, 579 are locally transmitted infections.