Heroine and Malawi’s historic figure Rose Chibambo, first female cabinet minister, will have her last recognition as government will honour her with a state funeral.
Family member Ziliro Chibambo, who is also a politician confirmed in an interview on Wednesday.
He said Chibambo, whose youthful and beautiful picture graces the K200 bank note, was scheduled to be buried on Friday in Ekwendeni, Mzimba but family members and government may reschedule the burial day to Saturday.
Speaking as family spokesman of the funeral, Ziliro said since President Peter Mutharika would attend the burial ceremony, the state funeral would be on Saturday as the Head of State might be attending Chilembwe Day commemorations in Chiradzulu.
Gwanda Chakuamba who gave his eulogy at HHI in Blantyre just before the body was to be taken to Mzimba, said Chibambo was the strongest woman politician he had never seen.
He said she courageously took on colonists.
“You must know that during the federal days to have a woman as a leader was no mean thing. Rose was very close to Dr Kamuzu Banda and that is why she became a leader of what we used to call Amazon Army also know as Women’s League in African Nyasaland Congress,” said Chakuamba who also sat in Kamuzu Banda’s early cabinet.
However, Chakuamba said as much as he welcomed the state funeral, the government should give respects to veteran politician like Chibambo when they are still alive instead of waiting for their deaths.
Chibambo is an important historic figure because she was the only female cabinet minister in Kamuzu Banda’s first 1964 cabinet.
She however fell out with Kamuzu who became increasingly dictatorial and killed anyone with dissenting view, forcing her into exile just to come back to Malawi in 1994 after the first multiparty elections that kicked out Kamuzu and the Malawi Congress Party out of power and ushered in Bakili Muluzi and his United Democratic Front.
Former president Muluzi said politicians, especially women have to learn from “her selflessness and desire to fight for what is right for the country.”
Muluzi said Chibambo “deserves a State funeral”, because of her contribution and for being the first female cabinet minister.
Leader of opposition in parliament Lazarus Chakwera, who is also president of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) also paid tribute to “icon” Chibambo.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :