On the 7th of July 1977, barely hours after the 13th independence anniversary celebrations held at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, the then Life President of Malawi, Dr Banda dissolved government by presidential order.
According to an announcement aired on the sole state broadcaster MBC radio, using the powers vested in him under the provisions of Article 49 of the republican constitution, Dr. Banda declared government dissolved with immediate effect.
He further dismissed all cabinet ministers and their deputies, members of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) national executive committee (NEC) and parliamentary secretaries.
The general public was informed that the care-taker role for all ministerial portfolios would then rest in Dr. Banda’s (presidential) office until a new cabinet was announced.
A day later, on the 8th July 1977, Dr. Banda released a list of names for his new cabinet in which two names from previous cabinet were conspicuously missing namely: Hon. Rodwell Munyenyembe (formerly minister of education) and A. Chatsika Phiri (formerly minister of health).
This was the first time for Dr. Banda to take such a drastic action ever since he became a head of government. The actual reasons for dissolution of government were not officially given.
However, according to some sources, this abrupt dissolution of government by Dr. Banda was undertaken as a ploy with an aim to get rid of Hon. Rodwell Munyenyembe altogether and was therefore done in a manner that it shouldn’t appear that Hon. Rodwell Munyenyembe was being specifically targeted.
Besides dropping him from his new cabinet as released on 8th July 1977, Dr. Banda further sacked Hon. Rodwell Munyenyembe from the National Executive Committee (NEC) of MCP. Bearly five weeks prior to this, Dr. Banda had removed Hon. Rodwell Munyenyembe as Secretary General of MCP and immediately replaced him with Hon. Bakili Muluzi.
This dissolution of government on the 7th of July 1977, marked the end of Hon. Rodwell Munyenyembe’s first stint in national politics until the 1992-94 transition period to multi-party democracy when he joined the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) and eventually became the Speaker of the National Assembly (1994-1999 and 2004 till death in 2005).
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