Malawi former president Joyce Banda has paid tribute to National Salvation Front (Nasaf) president James Nyondo who diedat the age of 47, Friday night at Steve Biko Hospital in South Africa.
Nyondo, who is survived by a wife and three children, led Nasaf in the 2014 tripartite elections.
Banda said she learnt with “deep shock and sadness” the death of Nyondo.
“Before he died, I interacted with the late Nyondo on several occasions. I found him to be a young, selfless, idealistic and highly intelligent politician.,” said Banda in her tribute statement made available to Nyasa Times.
“For example, when the late Nyondo suspected that there were discrepancies in the course of the 2014tripartite elections, he sought audience with me as Head of State to request me to intervene. When he came to see me at Kamuzu Palace, president James Nyondo’s desire was that whoever became Head of State at any given time must be the ‘real’ choice of the people of Malawi.
“Besides the elections issue, the late Nyondo and I regularly met at State House to discuss matters of national interest, owing to my ‘open-door’ policy that time,” stated Banda.
She described Nyondo as a patriotic Malawian.
“In whatever he said and did as a politician or as an individual, the late President Nyondo always put Malawi and Malawians first. The nation has lost a dedicated and patriotic son whose gap shall be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to fill,” stated Banda.
President Peter Mutharika also issued a statement to pay tribute to Nyondo .
Mutharika, through his press secretary said Nyondo was “one of the finest Malawi politicians who loved his country and the people of Malawi.”
He aid Nyondo demonstrated “courage and patriotism” during the two times he stood for Presidency in 2009 and in the last 2014 elections and that Malawi shall never find a replacement of a hardworking, dedicated, obedient, peace loving and an intelligent person.
United Democratic Front (UDF) spokesperson Ken Ndanga described Nyondo as a budding politician who was trying to bring a new style of leadership on the political landscape.
People’s Transformation Party (Petra) president, Kamuzu Chibambo—another presidential candidate who shared the stage with Nyondo during the first-ever presidential debates—said he was saddened to learn about the demise of his colleague.
Mark Katsonga Phiri, also a presidential candidate in the 2014 polls on the People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) ticket, said he received the news with shock. He extended condolences to Nasaf, Nyondo’s family and all Malawians for losing a man he described as brilliant and dynamic.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :