History Of Malawi

THIS MONTH IN THE HISTORY OF MALAWI: Dr. Banda Declares Lilongwe as New Capital City Effective 1st January 1975.

Cable sent from US Embassy in Blantyre to US Department of State in Washington D.C, 1974 September 9, 15:00.(Monday ).

1. IN SPEECH CLOSING ANNUAL MALAWI CONGRESS PARTY CONVENTION SEPTEMBER 7, PRESIDENT BANDA ANNOUNCED THAT LILONGWE WOULD OFFICIALLY REPLACE ZOMBA AS CAPITAL ON JANUARY 1, 1975.

MINISTRY OF FINANCE WILL MOVE TO LILONGWE IN OCTOBER 1974 AND OFFICE OF PRESIDENT BEFORE END OF YEAR. BANDA SAID HIS PERSONALLY OWNED RESIDENCE IS NOW READY FOR OCCUPANCY AND THEREFORE THERE NO NEED TO CONSTRUCT ADDITIONAL STATE HOUSE IN LILONGWE AT THIS TIME.

RBM_LL_1979_revised

Reserve Bank Headquarters in Lilongwe under construction (1979).

2. COMMENT:

ANNOUNCEMENT ENDS LONG PENDING QUESTION RE WHEN PRESIDENT WOULD MOVE TO DECLARE LILONGWE OFFICIAL CAPITAL AND WHY THERE NO OFFICIAL RESIDENCE BEING CONSTRUCTED AT PRESENT IN LILONGWE.

BY JANUARY 1 OR SOON THEREAFTER WE EXPECT ALL EMBASSIES IN COUNTRY WILL BE FUNCTIONING IN NEW CAPITAL EXCEPT FOR U.S. AND WEST GERMANY.

I BELIEVE WE SHOULD MAKE CONCENTRATED EFFORT EXPEDITE OUR PRESENT CONSTRUCTION PLANS AND SCHEDULE AND WILL PERSONALLY ENDEAVOR INSURE THERE IS NO HOLD UP ON THIS END.

Source: Wikileaks.

For a video showing the construction of the new capital city in progress click here

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