MASAUKO CHIPEMBERE- THE LAST DAYS OF THE UPRISING OF FEBRUARY 1965
Due to ill health, isolation, difficult living conditions in hiding, and a strong patriotic drive for Malawi, Chipembere made a decision.
Around March 7th, 1965, he wrote a letter to Governor Glyn Jones and offered to end the fighting on the condition that Prime Minister Kamuzu Banda declares an amnesty, failing which he would continue the guerilla fighting.
Kamuzu refused, but what followed later was a tactic that led to Chipembere being flown out of Malawi to California, U.S.A., with the full knowledge and endorsement of Kamuzu.
It left Evans Medson Silombera and Kumpwelula Kanada as commanders of the guerilla fighters and everything was not yet over.
Prime Minister Kamuzu Banda refused any granting of amnesty to Chipembere and his guerilla army. This meant Chipembere would continue the guerilla fighting as he had indicated in his letter.
The natives of the villages in Fort Johnstone continued rendering their clandestine support to Chipembere and his army. They fed him with information about the moves of the government search parties and security forces.
It proved difficult for the government security forces to capture Chipembere.
The government forces retaliated by using excessive, brutal, and savage strategies to force and intimidate the locals to get the whereabouts of Chipembere.
There were arrests, beatings, detention, and the burning of houses.
Moto Village in T/A Makanjira in Fort Johnstone had its villagers arrested and detained and houses and property burnt down to ashes. Over 400 of Chipembere's supporters and sympathizers had been so far arrested.
Still more, this yielded nothing on the capture of Chipembere.
By the beginning of April 1965, the commander of the guerilla army, Chipembere, wrote a letter to the United States ambassador to Malawi, Sam Gilstrap, who contacted British Governor Glyn Jones for action to the demands of the letter.
In the letter, Chipembere outlined the adverse effects of the guerilla war on Malawi and his wish to be granted amnesty hence an end to the uprising. Chipembere indicated options that he could go in seclusion to his original home, Likoma island where his father and family had been banished or he could go into exile or be granted admission into an American University.
He also indicated that he wished immediate amnesty on his detained followers even in his absence, a gesture which he was assured of but never materialized.
An evacuation plan was hatched and Kamuzu was informed. His reaction was that Chipembere once whisked out of Malawi to the United States should not plan an invasion or talk ill of Banda's government.
The actual evacuation was a top-secret plan known by the top brass of the Nyasaland administration. The secret plan was only known by Governor Glyn Jones, Commissioner of Police, Peter Long, Commander of the Malawi Rifles, Colonel Lewis, Special Branch O.C., Dougie Lommax, Youens, and Roberts (who used the pseudo 'Gideon Banda') throughout the evacuation operation.
On 26th April, at 7.30p.m. at an agreed place in Fort Johnstone, Masauko Chipembere was met by Keith Denton (not real name) with the escort of the Malawi Rifles Commander, Colonel Lewis.
He was driven to Zomba airstrip where he was flown to Salisbury in Southern Rhodesia, then Britain, and lastly the United States.
Back home, the promise of amnesty never saw the light of day and Silombera continued the terror.