CHAPTER VIII: Living With the Pain

Chapter Eight:
Living With the Pain

8.1               The Exiles Return
8.2               Physical Scars
8.3               Psychological Scars
8.4               No Compensation and Rehabilitation
8.5               Dispossession
8.6               Cultural Alienation
8.7               Contribution of the Returnees

Detainees and exiles shared much in common as a result of their treatment by the regime. Prison conditions were so bad that even prisoners who were never tortured still came out with permanent physical and psychological damage. Exiles often came back in poor health, having suffered many of the social and psychological consequences of forced dislocation. Detainees and those who had been beaten or abused by the regime’s enforcers before escaping into exile often carried serious and permanent physical and psychological scars. On their return to their homes in Malawi, they found themselves stigmatised and even ostracised by workmates and friends and sometimes even by their family and community.

Almost without exception, they were bitter about the treatment they had received at the hands of the regime. Many were even more upset at being forsaken and forgotten after the change of government in 1964 that removed Dr Banda from power.