Fare thee well Gwanda Chakuamba

In 1993, I was 9 years old when I first saw Gwanda Chakuamba at Mzimba Community ground where he held a political rally after getting released from Prison. This was an exciting time in the history of our country, even for curious and mischievous kids like me that always sneaked out from home to attend political rallies that were common as we were transiting from dictatorship to multiparty democracy between 1992 and 1994.

Gwanda Chakuamba

Gwanda Chakuamba

I loved to see political figures that were very famous for challenging Mkango, Dr Banda and championing the democratization movement, including Chakufwa Chihana, Bakili Muluzi, and some younger and brilliant youths like Dr Mapopa Chipeta whom I also liked and admired.

One thing that I remember vividly about what Chakuamba said at the 1993 rally was his reason for rejoining MCP. Mr Chakuamba told the gathering that after getting released from prison it was time to abandon MCP which had jailed him in the first place, “koma mphuno yanga, itanunkhizanunkhiza dzipani dzonze, ndinasankhabe MCP basi,” he said reassuringly while waving his finger to affirm that there was no better Party for him than MCP even at the dawn of democracy.

Mr Chakuamba breathed his last on Mondayy, but he has a special place in my heart mainly because of two reasons:

The first one is that I have never voted for a President in my life but once in 1999. And I voted for Gwanda Chakuamba then Presidential candidate for MCP, or rather the MCP/AFORD coalition of 1999. I know you are surprised how I voted in 1999 because if I was only 9 years old in 1993 then I obviously had not reached the minimum constitutional voting age of 18.

I was actually 14 years old when I went to register as a voter and I am even of a shorter height which could betray me. But I did found my way through, I registered, got my face captured on camera and I voted for Chakuamba. How I succeeded to do this at the age of 14 is a story for another day. But Chakuamba and Chakufwa Chihana inspired me with that courage at such a tender age.

The second reason is that Chakuamba was a fellow member of Adventist Church. We, the Adventists are probably the most conservative of all Christians and do not actively participate in politics especially at the partisan level as a matter of the standing of the Church. And until today, there is no clear consensus as to what extent Adventists can get involved in politics though they are allowed to “render unto Caesar that which is Caeser’s” through civil obligation including voting.

However, the Adventist Church has produced great politicians in Malawi and across the world despite the probably restrictive faith, and Chakuamba is the only Adventist that ever contested for Presidency of our Republic twice, and unofficially “won” the second time in 2004.

Chakuamba belongs to a special group of great Adventist men like Dr Ben Carson who was the first Adventist to contest for the USA Presidency in 2016 and President Major General Konrote of Fiji, who became the first Adventist to be President of a country in 2015.

And through out his politics, Chakuamba remained a true Adventist and respected the Sabbath day in his politics as per sacred dictates of our faith, just like Daniel, Joseph and other Biblical political figures that retained their Jewish faith and sacredness of Scripture even as they held high political offices in secular imperial governments of Babylon, Egypt and Medo-Persia.

For young Adventist that aspire to serve God and Mankind, and prepare Malawians for great citizenship in this world and for the world to come, I give you the greatest Adventist politician of all ages, Gwanda Chakuamba. As a Politician and a Christian, Chakuamba fought a good fight, he kept the faith, and he has honorably finished the race. May you learn from him, because he has no equal among the living of our politicians.

Fare thee well, Gwanda Chakuamba. May you receive your golden starry crown at God’s thrown of Grace.

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9 thoughts on “Fare thee well Gwanda Chakuamba”

  1. oki says:

    THe Police should look for you and arrest for contravening electoral laws. You have made an unsolicted confession of this.

  2. REX MSISKA says:

    Uncle Gwanda may your soul rest in peace. To the family, may God give you the comfort you need at a time like this.
    I came in personal contact with this great man of Malawi ‘POLITICS, UNDER ONE PARTY STATE’ when i was working for Halls Holdings as junior accountant. He was Minister responsible of Malawi Young Pioneer.Malawi Young Pioneer was owing Halls Holdings Mk millions. No one wanted to go and see him for fear of being victimised. I was granted an appointment to see him. I was 29 years old then. When the day of the appointment came, i was gripped with fear, but i knew my story. When i finally went into his office he welcomed me with a big smile. I told him the reason i was there and he called the financial controller in and asked him if he knew about the amount outstanding. The financial controller said he was not aware. Gwanda told his financial controller that the matter should be finalised before business day and asked me to use his office to make sure cheque was issued that same day.I left his office at 8.00pm with a signed cheque. Believe me i was more scared of the financial controller and his staff than with Gwanda.
    A week later he called me to his office to find out if there are any accounts older than 30 days,relating to the President’s farms, government’s etc to be brought to his attention. I indeed within that same week i submitted all accounts to him. One account for the President’s farms was Mk24. These accounts were paid a week later. I remember negotiating with him to keep the Mk24 cheque signed by the president. He laughed and asked me if i had Malawi Congress Party card. I said yes and he laughed again and said, ‘keep it, it has full signature of the president. On this day he said,”you are a brilliant,brave young man, keep it up, the president wants to see you one day, stay away from politics, this is a ONE PARTY STATE. You have a bright future.”

    Uncle Gwanda may your soul rest in perfect peace.

  3. Zoonadi Zenizeni says:

    So you voted at 14?

  4. Mwanauyu says:

    Really,people are still praising Chakuamba. It is good to remember what happened in 90s!!! If we go further down to the 70s,this guy did a lot of harm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. kanchenga says:

      But not as bad as these thieves we have in government today. Oh oh not at all. I have said before and I will say it again. Those people who died under Kamuzu rule new what they were doing and in any case they were fighting their own battles under the name democracy. Having won in 1993, what has Malawi benefited. Corruption and nepotism. And the Chakuambas killed to protect the defenceless and provide for the poor. These dogs are killing to protect themselves and overburden the poor with taxes. They have brainwashed small minds like you so you can look at them as angels. It is generally believed that lomwes are tribalists. I beg to differ. The tumbukas are more tribalistic than the lomwes except that they have had no chance to practice it with impudence like the lowest are doing it. It was was this tribalism that caused the 1964 cabinet crisis and the killing and exiles that followed. The northerners felt short changed when they discovered they were not able to control Kamuzu to do what they want. You see these traits even now. If they feel short changed they cry like babies and start calling for federation or Nyika republic. But are easily silenced by a few scones here and there. Do you hear the federation calls now. No They have been greased. Vendee vakufikapo. Yes let those whose minds have not been dented by hate and are able to see the good in other people praise Chakuambas. As a student at Bunda College I was involved in a youth week rally. It was to take place at Kamuzu institute for Sports but was moved to Nasawa. Chakuamba rod with us in a bus from Lilongwe to mountain view in Thyolo. He was an inspired youth leader and he inspired us. He had dreams. He new the importance of discipline for a country to develop. In a heated discussion he pointed out to us that We were being trained to develop Malawi but we were not educated at all. When we get educated we will discover that no country with low levels of literacy has ever developed under democracy. Yes Chakuamba was indeed a dictator but he had vision, he could forgive, he had no permanent enemy, if you didn’t agree with him he refused to sell his soul. When he need help from his country he said so in simple language. Guys I am suffering I need help. MAY THE LORD HAVE MERCY ON HIS SOUL.

      1. Mulakho says:

        Ndiwe mwana iwe. Nkhaza za Ngwanda zonse zija sunznzibve kuwawa shut up.

        1. kachamba says:

          What did he do to you?

      2. NJIRA YA MTANDA says:

        amwene mwanama, there’s no better politician in the whole world you are just expressing your bitterness on those who are not you favourite

      3. Unenesko Nguweni says:

        PAPA Rest in Peace

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