PP officials grilled for hijacking funeral program: Chakwera pays tribute to Chief Chanza’s wife

The bereaved family of Senior Chief Chadza have lambasted the ruling People’s Party officials for hijacking the funeral ceremony of the Chief Chadza wife a development which resulted into burying the deceased in the absence of the husband.

According to some family members, Deputy Minister of Local Government Geoffrey Kamanya who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area of Lilongwe Msozi instructed the bereaved family to collect the body of Chief Chadza’s wife from Kamuzu Central Hospital without confirming the program of the arrival of Senior Chief who is currently in China on official duties.

“Surprisingly, he directed us to go to the mortuary to collect the body and that that he and Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ulemu Chilapondwa will welcome the Senior Chief at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA),” said a family member.

However drama started to unfold while at the airport when Kamanya was told that the plane which the Senior Chief Chadza was supposed to board failed to take off due to bad weather in China.

Chakwera making his eulogy

“He called us saying we have to change the program and that we should not collect the body at KCH but by that time, we were on our way back home with the remains of our dear mother. He was told that per our tradition, maliro akatuluka nyumba sabwelela, and there was no way we could change the program. We had to go ahead with the burial ceremony even in the absence of the husband, which was very painful to us,” said the family member in tears.

According to the bereaved family members, Kamanya was summoned by the royal family to explain as to why he went ahead hijacking program when the senior chief was not yet in the country.

“As much as we know that his position is under the ministry of local government, they were supposed to work hand in hand with the family members. The deceased in not an ordinary member, she is a wife of a Senior Chief and for the government to give us this treatment is an insult,” said another relative.

Speaking at the funeral, junior minister James Chilapondwa who represented President Joyce Banda said the government tried its best to make sure that Senior Chief Chadza should be available at the burial ceremony but the weather was unruly in China hence the plane could not take off as scheduled.

“We had arranged that by early Monday morning, our Senior Chief should be in the country and be with us at this service. But we have to emphasize that the problem is that he is in the area which is 3000 kilometres away from the main city, so he had to board three airplanes to reach here but all the program failed due to bad weather,” said Chilapondwa who had come with hordes of  People Party (PP) supporters at the funeral.

Senior Chief Chadza’s wife was born in 1994, has left a months old child and died on Thursday last week due to malaria.

Speaking at the same funeral, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazalous Chakwela said it is very sad for a husband to lose a wife early in marriage and at the same time not to attend the funeral.

“It is very hard for a man to lose his loved one. We always look at our wives for guidance in our daily deeds and just add that to the reasoning that you should not be there to escort your loved one. But all in all, we have solace because we know that one day we will meet our loved ones,” said Chakwera who was flanked by senior party officials at the funeral.

Chakwera was most appealing politician to the hundreds of mourners who gathered there as opposed to the PP officials.

The funeral ceremony

Kamanya and Chilapondwa at the funeral

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