At exactly 14:16pm on Friday October 28 the body of veteran politician, Gwanda Chakuamba was interred at his home village in Nsanje district with full military honours in a sombre ceremony.
People from all walks of life braved the scotching heat of the summer sun to witness the burial of one of the country’s longest serving politicians who died on Monday , 24 October, 2016 while receiving treatment at Blantyre Adventist Hospital (BAH) where he was admitted on October 13th.
He succumbed to a long battle with heart complications, and his body has been buried at his residence in Chinyanje in the area of Traditional Authority Mlolo in the district.
His funeral managed to bring together politicians, academicians, the business and corporate gurus, artists and laymen- young and old.
Former president Bakili Muluzi led a cross-section of politicians from various political parties including the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) led by their leader Lazarus Chakwera.
Most notable faces that gathered to pay their last respect to the giant of Lower Shire commonly known as ‘Mbuya’ include social commentator and comedian Michael Manganya Usi, Chakuamba’s nephew and former minister Sidic Mia, lawyer Bazuka Mhango SC who was his close confidant, Harry Thomson, State House chief-of-staff Peter Mukhito, former Mutharika’s aide on communications Bright Malopa, Mutharika’s long serving aide Ben Phiri, Kholiwe Mkandawire, People’s Party (PP) leader Uladi Mussa among others.
The mammoth of the crowd that gathered at Chakuamba’s residence clearly demonstrates what a great politician he was with every eulogy affirming his love for this country.
Paramount Chief Lundu described Chakuamba as the only original and genuine Mbuya (father) of the Lower Shire, saying “There will be no other. He remains the veteran of Lower Shire. Nobody should claim to be Mbuya.”
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Easter Mcheka Chilenje described him as father and mentor of many, saying he made sure every politician know “there are no permanent enemies in politics.”
Leader of Opposition in Parliament and MCP president Lazarus Chakwera as well as Chakuamba’s best of best friends Bazuka Mhango highlighted how the deceased, who once served in various ministerial positions, was frank with his words.
“He was open with his mind; a great listener. It was his frankness as he never minced words and that, more often, got him in trouble,” explained Mhango in his eulogy.
In a separate interview, Chakwera described Chakuamba as one of pillars in Malawian politics and a freedom fighter.
“He was a person that was a true fighter to the end. He fought for Malawi independence. Despite all issues Malawians face, he is still a winner because the last battle he fought, he fought with Christ.
“We remember him with great honor. He was able to burry all grudges after he came out of prison and continued to serve Malawians. We must continue to fight for all liberations. And continue to fight without holding grudges with anybody because as a nation we rise or sink together,” said Chakwera.
Chakuamba, the man who stamped a unique political chapter in the country, died aged 82, and would be remembered by as a nationalist who played a significant role during the struggle for independence in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
He was born 4 April 1934.
From the country’s independence in 1964 until 1980, Chakuamba was a key figure within the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which was the sole legal political party.
During the rule of President Hastings Kamuzu Banda, he held many cabinet positions and was Commander of the MCP youth group Malawi Young Pioneers.
Chakuamba served in the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and was affiliated to former governing Peoples Party (PP) before retiring from active politics in April this year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :