CHAPTER VII: Organised Opposition

Chapter 7:
Organised Opposition

7.1     The Crisis – Chipembere in the Bush
7.2     Early exile – 1964-66
7.3     Yatuta Incursion
7.4     Post 1967 – The Political Vacuum
7.5     The Lesoma contribution
7.6     Internal opposition
7.7     Lesoma’s role in the democratic transition

Malawians of all political stripes proudly refer to their radical tradition of opposition and resistance with the proud example of John Chilembwe and his short-lived revolt against colonial rule in 1915. They may also mention the activism of Clements Kadalie in South Africa, Oscar Kambona in Tanzania, and Dunduzu Chisiza in Zimbabwe. The Young Turks and their role in the nationalist struggle during the 1950s and 60s carried on this tradition until it was driven underground or into exile after the Cabinet Crisis of 1964. The Banda era of rule by terror and stifling repression effectively silenced or obliterated from the official memory the brave freedom fighters who had led these struggles. Their fall from grace and subsequent tarring as chigawenga remains more a part of the current national discourse than the evidence of principled struggle and sacrifice their stories carry.