Patrick Mbewe says public figures should get State funeral

One of the founders of United Democratic Front (UDF) and pioneers of multi-party democracy Patrick Mbewe has asked government to start recognizing public figures by according them state funeral, expressing sadness that retired politician and neurosurgeon Dr George Nga Ntafu, who was laid to rest on Friday was not given State recognition for his contributions to the nation.

After prayers off to Ntonda farm for burial..Photo Jeromy Kadewere

After prayers off to Ntonda farm for burial..Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Women comfort Mtafu's widow-Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Women comfort Mtafu’s widow-Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Former President Bakili Muluzi talks to former vice president Khumbo Kachali ...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Former President Bakili Muluzi talks to former vice president Khumbo Kachali …Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje with Khumbo  Kachali -Photo Jeromy Kadewer

Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje with Khumbo Kachali -Photo Jeromy Kadewer

Former Speaker Chimunthu Bandapaying his respects..Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Former Speaker Chimunthu Bandapaying his respects..Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Mtafu died on 20 October 2015 at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital a few hours after being involved in a road accident when the car he was driving collided with a truck in the Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre.

The former minister in the Bakili Muluzi regime was buried like any other ordinary person at his Ntonda farm along the Blantyre- Chikwawa road in the presence of notable people like former president BMuluzi, former Vice President Khumbo Kachali, first deputy speaker Mcheka Chilenje, minister of health Peter Kumpalule, former speaker of parliament Chimunthu Banda.

In his eulogy, Mbewe gave an example of South Africa, when footballers die they are accorded a state funeral.

“What is wrong with us? In Zambia and Mozambique when former presidents and ministers die they are all accorded state funerals. We need to stop this jealousy tendency.

“Mtafu was not just a former minister or MP but the only neurosurgeon in Malawi,” said Mbewe, amid ululation from women.

“I have a simple message to those who are in authority. I was a minister, now l am an ex-minister. Today you are a minister and tomorrow you will no longer be a minister. It is high time we start recognizing our public figures like Mtafu,” he said.

Mbewe described Mtafu as a humble person who stood for justice when he was serving as a minister and MP.

“Nga Mtafu will never agree to anything. He was not a person who would yes when the answer is no,” said Mbewe.

In his interview with the media, former president Bakili Muluzi described the late Mtafu as a man with an open heart.

“He worked very hard in my cabinet and he was also very humble. He used to like jokes and l will greatly miss him,” said Muluzi.

Minister of health, Peter Kumpalule said the nation will miss mtafu’s services, especially at ministry of health where he was Chief technical advisor.

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77 thoughts on “Patrick Mbewe says public figures should get State funeral”

  1. chitsa boys says:

    Ambewe malo mopempha mavenda kuti asadulise chimanga kuti osauka akwanise kugula kuti azavote mu 2019 lero mukuti ayi koma muzilemekeza maliro wafa wafa basi

  2. Ministers are not special people, it’s just a political appointment. There is nothing special that ministers do. The Principal Secretaries do all the technical job so how come a minister or an MP be a public figure. Don’t worry about glory at your funeral rather worry about where you will go after death. All you need is not state funeral but rather God by your side when you die.

  3. Commoner says:

    Death knows no status.We are all the same in the eyes of God.Spending a fortune for the dead is not important.Buy drugs for the suffering Malawians in hospitals.


  5. Bwana Mbewe zitayeni mupusapo apa. Ndale munazisiya kale. Ulemu wanu.

  6. Ndikutelo says:

    Mmmmmmh isn’t this expensive bwana Mbewe? Poganizila ndi mmene chuma chathu chilili,sindikudziwa mwati nduna ili yonse? Kapenatu okhao omwe anadzipeleka ndi kutumikila dziko,ndi kuima pa chilungamo.

  7. The Analyst says:

    A question or two for P. Mbewe

    How do you define a public figure? The one who is famous, you say? Then Joe Gwaladi should be accorded a state funeral when he dies? Coz so famous is the guy, that even shoes are made after his name! How about Izeki n Jacob, Fischer Kondowe or Kasambara (the devil)? Cant you see that we cant even define a public figure?

    And don’t you think that the public figure’s (however you define them) wife or husband or daughter will eventually be accorded a state funeral by association? Shall this not lead to abuse? Haven’t we had enough of abuse of public funds, you think? And how many wives do these MPs or Ministers have in girlfriend? Answer me! You once were one! Many! Right?

    And you compare Malawi and Zambia, Moz n SA? What happened to common sense here? Let us not make common mistakes when we ourselves are not deemed common. A state funeral is an expensive venture and Malawi is too poor an economy to afford that luxury. Cant you see? And we are all preaching austerity now (though we are not living it) and you speak of extra expenditure for the government? From which planet are you? Are you an alien?

    Let us not allow sorrow to rob us of our ability to reason normally.

    Being an MP or minister is just like any other job e.g. being a prophet, a teacher or a prostitute.

  8. selfish decision says:

    We are all created in same image of God
    Why segregation .Public figures have got money and they can manage to buy a coffin.You don’t talk of poor ordinary citizen.
    Why is it that you should keep enjoying throughout your life.To be honest be considerate when making decisions.You have money and you need free services why ? Go in villages and see how people bury their relative you its pathetic and you wouldnt put this decision openly
    Let it us it is now.
    Let’s the citizens debate

  9. Mungete says:

    I think we now hv over 500 ex- ministers. U mean govt shud be spending tax payers’ money once each of these dies. Politicians are very greedy with govt resources. They want to use govt money until they die including funeral expenses

  10. danta says:

    Amamuopa a dpp chifukwa chake pa malilo a george mtafu agalu inu ,malemuwa samaopa poyakhula R I P.

  11. wayunda says:

    He is indeed a public figure and Hero.

  12. useless mutharika says:

    Stupid proposal. Munthu ngati minister ayikidwe ngati former minister basis not state funeral

  13. Chindere says:

    We are all public figures. Death is death.

  14. mtate mike rsa says:

    Pitala knowz he will be buried like rotten dead dog

  15. Nkasai says:

    Zimenezo ayi !kodi misonkho yathu yaphweka eti ?how many public figures does Malawi has and what is the cost implication of that ?cashgate imeneyo !mutibele muli moyo mpaka kumanda?that money can be used to ease the plight of disadvantaged in hospitals -shutup!

  16. johnM says:

    Rubbish, we are a republic. In a republic, everyone should be treated equally. Just because someone is a politician does entail that he or she should be given a special treatment at Government expense. There are lots of Malawians who are contributing to the welfare of the nation and they do not even get a special recognition for what they do.

  17. Bornface c Mwale says:

    RIP Mr
    speaker sir you must be very stupid WILL MISS YOU

  18. crazy stuff says:

    State funeral. U are a greedy pig, serve, do good and forget about it. This is sincerity

  19. The guarantor says:

    will the government manage that? how many people will have to be recognized. inenso kwathu ndine public figure koma osati politician. u mean politicians are only public figure?

  20. John says:



  21. kulinga says:

    Surely not for people like “agalu inu or Mr.Speaker Sir, you must be stupid” people should learn to respect the honorable house.

  22. #disgruntledtaxpayer says:

    Bwana Mbewe , I say no. It is not jealousy it is common sense. State funerals should only be accorded to those who pass whilst in office or where their conditions of service entitle them to such benefits beyond their term e.g. ex-president and ex-vice president. For the rest of you buy funeral insurance. If you want to be remembered by posterity, write a book. Enough of this culture of greed and entitlement from you who we bestow the PRIVILEDGE of public service.

  23. Watson says:

    Kodi ndalama zake ziti abale…much as I have respect for public figures koma let us save the limited tax payers money please in whatever means necessary.

  24. chindime says:

    We as a country are failing to take care of the living, and you are worried about the dead?

  25. Mwethu says:

    I don’t think its true that every person who served as a minister or was a public figure be accorded a state funeral. This is lack of understanding by our politicians as to who should be accorded such an honour. Just to be a minister or MP doesn’t warrant one to be accorded such extravagancies. Yes he was the only nuerosurgeon, but did he deserve state funeral, I don’t think so. Eminent people have died in other countries and the presence of a government official, Minister of Health in this case, suffices as government recognition to the fallen person. Lets not just politicize everything just to score cheap points. Mbewe should start keeping money for his own funeral, he should not think that just because he was a minister once then gvernment should foot his funeral costs, it shall never happen. And as former ministers, what contribution did you make to this country? You are the ones who laid the foundation that is slowly destroying this Nation and today you want state funerals, what a load of bollocks!!!

  26. Kk says:

    To me it gives nosence to respect the deceased than someone who is alive lets respect them alive than dead

  27. Zanga Zaine says:

    Kwa Mulungu kulibe state funeral.

  28. Zanga Zaine says:

    Kwa Mulungu kulibe state.

  29. Zanga Zaine says:

    State funeral yoti agalu inu, mu parliament. Kkkkkk

  30. Zidura Ntengo Undigwere says:

    This is one of the most irresponsible suggestions I have ever heard, in this country.
    Where is the money for this gonna come from?
    Perhaps Mbewe should start his own trust fund towards the expenses of the so-called state funerals. Dependency syndrome baasi, no less! When the average citizen has to find ways of burying his/her relatives! And yet Mbewe is suggesting public expenses for funerals of people amene ankadya zanononi (had big jobs).

  31. Msadane says:

    Mr Mbewe’s sentiments are fair, but the criteria for deciding who is a public figure will need to be debated and agreed upon. For example elected people such as presidents and their deputies might be easily accepted aspublic figures. But Ministers of government who are appointed by a president and are usually political party cadres being rewarded by the president may not meet the bill.

  32. Sapitwa says:

    To die whilst in office is one thing but as an ex Minister means you are just like any other ordinary citizen. Those players e.g in South Africa,Zambia,Cemeroon etc died whilst serving their countries at the time hence they were accorded state befitting funerals.
    The way things are is fine. It is the responsibility of every ex …… to find charity work to do serving Malawi. Maybe in this context, they can be regarded as dying whilst serving Malawi.

  33. Helo says:

    Public figures or public thieves? I wouldnt want to waste my tax money on agalu inu.

  34. Stampycious says:

    Mr Patrick Mbewe i agree with u, a Mtafu ayikidwa ngati munthu wamba yet the government aware the important role Mtafu played for the democratic government

  35. YASINI says:




  37. Mboba says:

    thats simply insane. Why spend our taxes on some jim and jacks funeral most of whom have stolen from the public purse. You gone u gone basi

  38. chatonda says:

    Does Patrick Mbewe know what it means when he says state funeral? What is Ntafu known for beyond his days of life? There is need to come up laid down procedures for people like Mbewe to know what state funeral means.
    Mcheka Chilenje has stolen money from parliament through dubious rental allowances and she is now everywhere buying public sympathy. She is in trouble and she is a bad example to Malawi Parliament and history. Shame on her for being very stupid and dull .

  39. network says:

    State funerals? Muluzi alone during his reign appointed over 100 Ministers. How Many state funerals per year should we expect and who would foot the bill?

    Mtafu was a blessing to the nation because of his rare medical qualifications but I believe he wasted his time when, out of bitterness, he decided to join politics. I wish he had resisted the temptation. Perhaps we could have benefited more from this great son of Malawi. RIP Nga

  40. peter says:

    Why do politicians think that tax payers money is free money at their disposal? Those who have contributed to the development of our country will be honored by their legacy not a lavish funeral ceremony.

  41. Nga says:

    Nonsense! Ma Minister azitibera kangati? Ali moyo atibere, akafanso? Stupid thinking

  42. Masharubu says:

    Although Patrick Mbewe’s plea may have some merits, it ideally should have come from someone who has never been a cabinet minister himself . As it is, one could be forgiven for thinking that Mbewe is being motivated by selfish interests in making this plea to government .

  43. Weatherwise says:

    Not everyone who occupies public office serves the interests of the public. Some are there to serve personal interests and they become arrogant such that it would not be worth spending tax payers money for State funerals for such people.

  44. Mhesha says:

    Public figure? Ndiye kuti chani? Politicians are so selfish. ..they want tax payers to fund every piece of their personal engagements…now they want funding to be extended from the cradle to the grave? Mwatipata bwanji?

  45. Tili Chenene says:

    So chief technical adviser in the current govt, no accorded state funeral services? Hypocrisy and nepotism

  46. wo says:

    This is really a concern to reason with;Nga Ntafu had done alot for Malawi than pitamtalika. He should have been accorded state funeral.

  47. Henry Banda says:

    What a miss for Malawi!

  48. CHINJOKA says:

    Agalu a DPP amagwilitsa ntchito munthu ngati khasu sayamika agalu amenewa

  49. Koma ????? says:

    While we appreciate the role late played in our country, we should also be cognizant of the practicalities. For instance, how many state funerals will we have? And what defines a public figure? politician? being the only specialist in a particular field?

  50. all-i-can-say says:

    Who will pay for state funerals, you fool? Mwazolowera wasting tax payers’ money without giving a thought about the implications of such waste. Stop treating the treasury as your personal estate. If you want a lavish funeral, then start saving money for it or go buy funeral cover you moron!

  51. mike says:

    Thus very true.

  52. Mlongoti says:

    Its true we need recogonase this pp

  53. william says:

    Anakhala achewa kapena atumbuka mkadati akukondela ife tikamukuuzani kutibomala minthalika lilibe umunthu mmati tikunama. Mkatimuneneza history maminthalikas amotoyiziwa history yakunoku malawi sianaliku Amereca ameneo. Zachisoni kwambili kuti anthu omwe adabwelesa mtendele kumaikidwa mosayenela. Ndizikolanjilopanda history? Kudanakumeneku kapena jealousy imeneyi ithaliti kwathukuno malilo timawikilana doesn’t regardress who’s has died

  54. Hens master says:

    No need for state funerals for ex ministers, ex diplomats etc. How many state funerals are we going to have? Many people have and continue to contribute to the development of Malawi. What happens to contributions from nurses, teachers, police officers etc? Are we going to offer state funerals?

    If Patrick Mbewe wants pomp at his funeral, he should organise it before his death.

  55. Mwitiwa says:

    Interesting pall bearers: Dr. Thom Mpinganjira, Dyson Mwandama, G. Koloviko, Mr. Chidothi and others. Thanks my friends for your humility. God bless.

  56. Baba wa Boyi says:

    No disrespect but such careless statements have no place anywhere. No one is entitled to a state funeral.
    When you are dead you are dead, ostentatious funerals are not for the dead but the living, and if the living want a big funeral they should pay for it.

    This kind of talk will lead people to demanding state weddings, state birthdays etc.

    In a word what Mbewe is suggesting is Rubbish to say the least.

    What did Mtafu do for anyone that was not for his personal gain?

    This habit of praising people when they are dead is a bad habit. I even forgot that there is someone called Mtafu Nga who was a politician until now when his death was announced, that is how important Mtafu was to a majority of people. And someone is suggesting a state funeral?

  57. mjiba says:

    Mbewe are you saying state funeral or state assisted funeral? I magine all those ndunas, mps and who you have as public figures being accorded state funerals ndiye mpaka pafunika vote in the budget of state funerals where responsible ministries will be drawing the funds for this senseless expenditure. you die in office you get state funeral you die out of offfice a pronounciation can be made by opc to accord a state funeral depending on the sanity prevailing at that particular time.RIP Nga Ntafu, was this not a state funeral imagine the fuel allowances that were drawn to attend this funeral.

  58. Patrick Phiri says:

    Total nonsense. How many state funerals are we going to have? Do we have money for all of them?

  59. Josophat Returns says:

    Why should we do that? Who won’t die anyway. We can’t even buy medicines to help our living. Why scour for a kwacha to honour a body whose soul has left anyway. It will be waste of quid. Afterall I don’t wanna reward any Malawian politician when none of them have changed our political and economic landscape. In fact Southern Region politicians will go down in the annals of Malawi as the ones who wrecked this country more than the First Chewa administration.

    Our per capitas in anything is declining like hell. Our indicators are worse off than they were 20 years ago because of Southern Region presidents who like to lead by rigging every election. They convince their gullible southerners that a Chewa administration will kill them because MCP is a batch of murderers, nyau infested individuals with a glee for mere dambwe business. So southern region votes regionally and shunts development work to Ndata area while Senas, mang’anjas and yaos look on as Lomwes feast on our taxes.

    Southern Region leaders achievements are all to see: significant reduction of educational standards. Replacing a good MCP curriculum with half baked curricula which diluted our children’s ability to be analytical. Results: producing idiots who can not speak or write English well because of lack of a rigorous curriculum.

    These greedy southern region leaders who can not hesitate to sell the mothers if need be in order to get at the presidency through hook or crook have made our civil service to be the most money centred and not service centred organisation in the world. One which only move when there is personal soda or no Deal.

    The list is long coutrymen. Let’s tie up the poor education system that Bakili initiated during UDF catastrophic rule: The first batch of Bakilis free primary school products will be looking for professional employment after finishing University. Prepare for their mediocrity in both private and public sectors. KAMUZUs products are slowly ejecting out due to old age and deaths and now enter Bakilis products that are full of exam cheaters, multiple choice bangers and an assembly of poor English speaking and writing Malawians. Most of them have poor science and maths background because they partly taught by ASTEP teachers who themselves were Jc holders. Oh Malawi prepare for their entry and be afraid. Be very afraid when they take up critical positions as PSs and Directors in 10-15 years from now in the already fledgling public sector.

  60. Munthu Wabwino says:

    How much will Malawi be spending if every ex-MP, minister, councillor, area chairperson, young democrat, cadet is accorded state funeral?

  61. Mukhuna says:

    It is important sometimes to think before uttering the nonsense in the Public. It is an open secret that Malawi is wallowing in abject poverty and our economy is nose diving. Here is a Malawian who is advocating for Government to be according state funnel to anyone with a status of “Public figure”. By the way how does one qualify to be a public figure?? Malawians are fond of setting priorities upside down, hence our stagnation in terms of development despite the 50 years of independence.

  62. Pat says:

    Define a public figure????

  63. BigMan says:

    Why try to score political points at a funeral.

  64. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    The country will certainly miss him. MHSRIP ! However, you guys in the modern day politics better be careful when giving eulogies because society keenly follows your public life as public figures. On the aspect of humbleness one would easily argue that Ntafu was not such especially with outbursts like, ” agalu inu!!!!” ” unapha amuna ako iwe!!!” during parliamentary sessions. Additionally, with the way mult-party politics has ruled Malawi, it will need arm twisting for one to accept that politicians were/are principled. Remember that your principle’s index will not be judged within the boardrooms but the larger outside world who have high expectations of public office holders. Again Mr Mbewe call for according public figures state funrral may create room for hot debate.
    Once again RIP! Nga Ntafu.


    Zoonadi lero uli apo pamwamba mawa uli pansi apa dikirani muzaone mumene zimapwetekera.Amalawi ife jelousy njambiri maka uyu uzaziona

  66. TruFactor says:

    That’s true bwana Patrick Mbewe. While experts like late Nga Ntafu are adored in other countries, we (Malawians) have no such respect.

  67. Dausi Hater says:

    You are right Mr. Patrick Mbewe. Just last Tuesday in Zambia the former Cabinet Secretary who left office in 2011 was given state funeral. The flags understood flew at half Mast. That is Zambia for your. Unfortunately the country is being run by people who did not fight for Malawi’s freedom. We are being run by tourists. Even, Muluzi used to give state funerals to prominent people. Please also investigate if the accident was not staged. How should a Ministry of health truck be involved in this case. Wake up Malawians, Dr. Ntafu was a technical Advisor to MOH and he may be broking some corruption activities by the DPP government. MOH is the PR for the just signed GF grant. MOH will be another NAC and they do not want someone outside DPP to know what will happen with the moneys there

  68. mbimbi says:

    Oho even those that swear in parliament? Remember agalu inu, you must be very stupid??
    I would agree with selective application.

  69. holy banda says:

    rip nga….

  70. myao says:

    Rip Mtafu. Iwe mbewe, do u want us to be having state funerals everyday or what? So sad that politicians think theyre the most important personalities in this country.

  71. Jimuni says:

    Mtafu indeed deserved a state funeral, I agree with Pat Mbewe.

    Even the main stream media have not accorded Mtafu a deserving fare thee well. Nyasa times has done better

  72. Professor Dr. James Napwiri Phiri says:

    No please. State funerals are costly. Yes we respect the dead but spare us with this.

  73. Jelousy baboons think will rule for ever and not die.Caona mzako capita m’mawa cili pali iwe. Fools why didn’t you give a befitting state funeral?

  74. The Analyst says:

    A word or two for Mr P Mbewe.

    How shall we define a public figure? The one who is known by many Malawians, you say? Then Joe Gwaladi should be a public figure because even shoes were named after him. How about Izeki n Jacob, Fischer Kondowe or Kasambara? Are they public figures? Its ambiguous! Or you suppose that only politicians are important in this country? Lets not make common mistakes when we ourselves are looked at as not being common.

    This may bring confusion as a daughter or wife to a “public figure” however you define them, may also be accorded a state funeral, by association.

    Further, state funeral is an expensive venture and Malawi is too poor an economy to afford that luxury, cant you see? Everybody now is preaching austerity (although some are not living it) and you seem to not know?

    Let’s not allow sorrow to rob us of of our ability to reason normally.

    Being an MP or minister is just like any other job like being a prophet, a teacher or a prostitute.

  75. chimzy says:

    Mr Mbewe,

    Please reward your fellow ex ministers with state funeral at your personal expense and not our tax payers money.You mean you have not eaten enough agalu inu.

  76. Nankungwi says:


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