Malawi ex-immigration chief Kambilonje, journalist Lanjesi die

Former Chief Immigration Officer in the Bakiliu Muluzi administration David Kambilonje died  in the early hours of Monday at the age of 58 after a long battle with high blood pressure.

Kambironje retired from the department in 2006 soon after his acquittal by the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court on five counts of corruption and abuse of office, charges he was arrested for in October the same year.

Immigration Public Relations Officer Martin Gongolo said Kambilonje will be remembered for his contribution towards the computerization of the passport system which he personally championed during his tenure at the helm of the department.

“We will all remember him for his role during the migration from the old hand-written to computerized passports production which we are currently in use,” said Gongolo.

Kambilonje joined immigration in 1972 and assumed department’s leadership mantle in 2003.

 Journo dies

Meanwhile, sombre mood  engulfed Malawi News Agency (MANA), following the sudden death of one of its longest serving journalists, Mervin Lanjesi.

The late Lanjesi died suddenly Thursday morning in Mangochi while returning to his work station in Mwanza.

According to one of his close buddies, Chawanangwa Kwaule, late Lanjesi died after an asthma attack.

“He had been suffering from asthma for a while and, according to his relatives, on Thursday morning as he was preparing to return to Mwanza his condition suddenly worsened. Unfortunately, it could not be treated and was pronounced dead at Mangochi District Hospital,” explained Kwaule.

He said late Lanjesi had gone home to grieve over the demise of a relation who was hit by a speeding train in South Africa and later died in a Johannesburg hospital.

“Despite his condition, he had all along been in sound health. Actually, we were expecting to meet in town [Blantyre] before proceeding to Mwanza. He phoned me Thursday morning informing me that he was about to start off not knowing that was good bye. It’s a big blow,” mourned Kwaule.

Until his death, the departed government journalist was District Information Officer (DIO) for Mwanza District.

Survived by a son and wife, the 38-year-old journalist will be laid to rest on Friday at his Changali home village in the area of T/A Chimwala in Mangochi District.

He joined MANA, which is under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Information and Civic Education, in 1998 and his first work station was the then MANA Headquarters in Blantyre before being transferred to Mangochi then Mwanza.  —(Additional reporting by Mana)

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