About 20 people were reportedly short across the country during nationwide demonstrations that were against social ills under the then DPP led government.
Speaking at Zolozolo Cemetery where eight of the 20 people were buried, Tembo said the DPP needed to be part of the commemoration of the July 20 victims to console and condole relatives of the deceased.
“Malawi needs reconciliation and healing. Malawians from Chitipa to Nsanje are one and in times of crisis, there should be a moment when one responsible for the situation should apologise, that’s why I would have loved if DPP was represented here,” said Tembo.
He said if DPP was represented, it could have been a sign of reconciliation with the families that lost their loved ones.
“The future for Malawi is for all including DPP as the party is composed of Malawians,” he said.
Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Mtambo said government feels there is need for a comprehensive and holistic approach in promoting unity and peace across the country, hence the establishment of the Ministry.
Mtambo said to achieve its goal, government has developed a structural and strategic legal framework that will help to address the long standing wounds and challenges Malawians have been going through for the past years.
“I can now confirm that we have finalised the Bill on Peace and Unity. It should have gone to parliament but it’s our hope that it will be tabled during the next sitting of parliament,” said Mtambo.
He added that the Bill intends to introduce National Commission for Peace and Unity which will have replication of the same at district level, institutions which he said will facilitate citizen engagements in promoting peace amongst Malawians.
Mtambo added that the Bill will also establish the National Healing and Peace Building Program which will be addressing atrocities of the past including engaging bereaved families like the victims of 20 July.
He said government in a short term plan will link families of the deceased to safety net programs such as Social Cash Transfer, education bursaries and National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF).
Former Vice President, Khumbo Kachale said politicians should learn from such a scenario and should never forget people who put them in positions once they accent to power.
He said there is need to erect a monument at the cemetery with words 'never again' which will serve as a reminder to Malawians against perpetrating acts which can create enmity amongst them.
Spokesperson for the bereaved families, Martha Mbezuma said the families would like to have an audience with President Lazarus Chakwera to present their grievances for his intervention.
The ceremony was attended by members of bereaved families, all the political parties represented in the Tonse Alliance, civil society organisations with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) party conspicuously missing.