Tembo’s wife funeral draws Malawi parties together in mourning

It was a day of emotions and unity of purpose for Malawi as dignitaries, politicians and people from all walks of life gathered in Dedza on Saturday to pay their respects to the much-respected wife of retired politician John Tembo where her remains were interred.

President Mutharika embraces widower Tembo in consoling him

President Mutharika embraces widower Tembo in consoling him

President Mutharika greets retired politician Gwanda Chakuamba as PP's Brown Mpinganjira looks on at the funeral

President Mutharika greets retired politician Gwanda Chakuamba as PP’s Brown Mpinganjira looks on at the funeral

Ruth Tembo's coffin lies before streams of mourners in Dedza

Ruth Tembo’s coffin lies before streams of mourners in Dedza

Muluzi, Tembo and Chakwera: During the day of emotions

Muluzi, Tembo and Chakwera: During the day of emotions

Mamarita Ruth Tembo, wife of 45 years of former Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, died on Monday at  Dae Yung Luke Hospital in Lilongwe where she had gone for treatment after a short illness.

Malawians from all walks of life and across the political divide felt the tremendous emotion of the solemn occasion when she was being laid to rest   at Nthulu Village in the area of traditional authority Kaphuka in Dedza.

Malawi President Peter Mutharika led the people who paid their last respects to Tembo’s wife who included former president Bakili Muluzi, Vice-President Saulosi Chilima and former vice-president Justin Malewezi and Khumbo Kachali.

There was also Speaker of National Assembly who is also MCP Vice President Richard Msowoya, deputy speaker of parliament Esther Mcheka Chilenje Nkhoma, senior executive members of  Peoples Party led by Brown Mpinganjira and the MCP membership.

In his eulogy on behalf of President Mutharika, Chilima said Tembo’s wife she was humble and peace-loving hence the united national mourning.

Chilima said Malawi mourned  “ a woman who preached peace and contributed a lot to Malawi Congress Party.”

MCP president Lazarus Chakwera, who is also leader opposition, acknowledged the unity shown by parties during the entire mourning period, saying Ruth Tembo was “a remarkable person.”

MCP president Lazarus Chakwera said a dark cloud has descended on the party following the death of Ruth.

“It will be very difficult for me to forget our mother Mrs Ruth Mamariah Tembo,” said Chakwera.

In his tribute, family representative Professor Zimani Kadzamira, said  Ruth Tembo was “an adviser to the family, a wedding planner and comforter.”

Former president Muluzi speaking to Tembo in the vigil house said he felt very sad over the demise of Ruth Tembo, saying: “ We are grieving a loss but also commemorating a life well-led, an extraordinarily  life.”

President  Mutharika assisted the family with various food items including K300,000 cash while Chakwera and the MCP gave the family K1,595, 970.00.

Malawi’s recent past president Joyce Banda gave the family K100,000,  vice president’s wife Mrs Mary Chilima contributed  rice and maize flour.

Other cash donations and assistance were received from Muluzi, Malewezi  and many mourners.

Born on 21 September, 1941 in Lesotho, Ruth Mamaria Tembo is survived by a husband John Tembo and four children; Dudu,  John Tembo Junior, Dalitso and Themba.–(Additional reporting by Zawadi Chilunga, Nyasa Times)

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61 thoughts on “Tembo’s wife funeral draws Malawi parties together in mourning”

  1. MCP ALLERGIC says:


  2. Mwendanato says:

    RIP Ruth, a Tembo zakusogolo amadziwa ndani. Time for you to repent from your past mistakes. Imagine words that are popularly to have been uttered from your own mouth such as My firends’ best enemy is my best friend, and i hate norhtners and don’t want to work with them. A GNC siawo anabwera kumaliro

  3. JAMES kamanga says:

    RIP Mama Tembo

  4. ungwelu says:


  5. Munthuwazeru says:

    Zimenezi ndizimene zimafunika pa umunthu wanthu monga anthu amene adawalenga ndi MULUNGU

  6. Aaron says:


  7. kadwala says:

    Koma badge ya Kamuzu ndi pa maliro pomwe Baba Tembo? Kapena ndi yosokera pomwepo pa jekete kuti simachoka? Komanso a chakwera neck tayi ya green ndi yovala ku maliro?

  8. Masoanyenga says:

    RIP Mama Tembo

  9. Mbalame zina zikasowa comments just stay cool by not exposing your stupidity

  10. john jere says:


  11. Atate Rashid says:

    Mai Bwampini pa chithunzi choyambacho amaganiza chani kodi? Kankhope atasongola ngati mphaka wonyowa.

  12. M'Malawi weniweni says:

    Rest in Peace Mama Tembo and may God comfort Baba Tembo in these trying times. Mama Tembo was a woman who never interfered in the work of her husband but gave advice which has seen Baba Tembo this far. If all presidents’ wives were like her, Malawi would have been a wonderful place. Si NACGate nkumangoyankhula mwano instead of being a role model.

    1. Mmalawi original says:

      No need for comparison here these are two different people mkazi wa president wa dziko ndi pulezident wa chipani sali pa level imodzi. Your comparison is null and void. Compare her with Annie,Shanil or Callista I will understand you. Ngati simunawine 2014 musazitengere pa maliro. Muzikhala okhitisidwa 30 years munalamula enaso alamuleko 30 years

  13. George Lihoma says:

    Le nna gape kimurate too much Mama Tembo.Kibusa Modimo amuthuse guri anne mo kgotso ya gae kontle asari teng mosadi o.RIP.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Wow George uyabulela setshwana nou ai luck you ke nna akumurate maar rest in peace umosadi wa Tembo ,tikusowani mama

  14. Charles says:

    Comment number 5, the one who has written this post is just full of hatred. Madam Callista condoled the Tembo family on Thursday at Area 10, and yesterday she attended the funeral service and even laid her wreath. Your vulgar language is so shoking! And clearly you are out of order. Check your facts before kutukwana.

  15. Bekani says:

    To answer you Nzika, as to why the President assigned his vice to speak. Well, I think our President was intimidated by the eloquent ‘Poet’ Laz Chakwera. Chakwela spoke in the funeral language of a typical Chewa/Yao/Ngoni/Sena/Tumbuka villager. Then he strategically mourned with MCP supporters and finally and perfectly delivered his eulogy to Malawian English speakers through his poem on meaning of RUTH. Now, Our President would not have matched that.

    1. Angel of Doom says:

      Are you people for real?


    Muluzi and Malewezi must be commended for not revealing what they contributed towards the funeral. Funeral is not a show off business. Let us mourn the death in silence. RIP Mama Tembo.

    1. JJB says:

      Why are you assuming they contributed something?

      And why are you assuming the others revealed what they contributed?

      You are the one that is mourning aloud by castigating others.

  17. Thanks for the contributions at this difficult time,RIP.

  18. musisipala says:

    R i p . U were a woman who never ever talked rubish in public! On the radio.

  19. The Undertaker says:

    While I can understand the emotions that people are going through, what I don’t get get is, People expected everyone who is someone to go to this funeral?

    Funerals are a family thing, a village thing, “amakutumizilani nthemga” if you do not belong to that village.

    If a stranger just pops up at a funeral and starts wailing “Akudabwa”

    If people went to this lady’s funeral just because she was the wife of a leader of a political party, then it negated and puts into question all her good deeds, which the majority of the people in Malawi did not know about.

    I am a Malawian through and through, I have never heard or seen John Tembo’s late wife,neither have I seen any of his children, that is how remote, the average Malawian is to John Tembo.

    For some of you to start castigating people because they did not attend John Tembos late wifes funeral is ludicrous, why do people always want to cry more than the bereaved?

    there are so many reasons people fail to attend a funeral, they may have gone to another funeral of someone too close, Who told you that none else will die until we bury John Tembos wife?

    Malawians learn to separate thing, and let go.

  20. GRM says:

    She has earned her respect. Rest in peace mum. Being a wife to a politician but not being a politician yourself is indeed difficult in Malawi. It is not surprising that a man can stuck in the Mountain Kingdom because of its beauty. The small mountains, the beautiful women, the blankets that we put on, the cold British type of weather and the horses!! The last time i visited Lesotho we found a certain Mr Phiri in a remote village of Thaba-Bosiu. Akhala mfumu amemeyi.

  21. Micky chimkoka says:

    RIP Mam

  22. out says:

    R I P we will miss your beautiful looks. You were a silent beauty behind mama n kamuzu. A twinkling star on the podium. Adios. We will miss you.

  23. sapitwa says:

    A woman of substance who always walked with jzu never let him down ngati zinazi

  24. charlie says:

    RIP Great Mam!!!

  25. lazarus says:

    How newsworthy are the contributions people make to the bereaved families? Best charity is discreet, anonymous… “Let not the left hand see what the right hand has given.”

  26. Alungwana says:

    A great lady and a woman of virture!

  27. innocent says:

    thanks for the solidality . as malawians lets unite as we did yesterday and it has shown that it is possible.God continue showering blessings to malawi.

  28. MBACHI says:


  29. Kadakwiza says:

    Its sad indeed to lose a wife, my condolences to the Tembo family. Mmaria Tembo botsamae ka khotso

  30. Nana Chione says:


  31. mtima wa nyani says:

    kodi kunali anthu atatu okhawo ku maliloko? ndimadabwa kuti mmalilo aakulukulu amangoonetsa ma bwana okha okha koma ifee oimba okumba ophika zitosi. wats new kumuika mluzu cakwera mmalo monmangowalemba kuti anafika. khwimbi lake nlimeneli?????????? mmesa tudziwa kuti wafedwa ntembo! koma anthu akadamenyanako nde mukadaonetsa opandanawo kusiya opadidwa kaye akhale wa boma. total failure of media

  32. thus unity amalawi,maliro nkulilana mwaonesa umozi asogoleri athu,mulungu akudaliseni,atembo limbani mtima tonse ndi akufa tangosiyana matsiku.

  33. Waife says:

    Go well ngat mkutelo

  34. Stanley says:

    Indeed ube mwamtende.

  35. christian says:

    Life without life is not life rest in peace

  36. kanyika dickson says:

    Pepani jzu

  37. NZIKA says:

    The VP spoke on behalf of the Presudent in his presence? It’s normal yes it does happen when 1- one is in the deepest mourning 2- one can not support himself on his feet for the duration of the eulogy 3 – one is unable to deliver the eulogy due to language problems (especially when you have to communicate to a crowd 90% of which cant pronounce a word in a language other than their local one) or not being conversant with traditional funeral practices..I am yet to know the reason behind the oresidents’ last minute change of mind which left the VP with the uphill task of translating the readily prepared presidential speech word by word on the page as he read. The presidential podium was set and the programme from the previous day showed that the president was going to say a word. My questions are 1- was he in deeper grief than the Children of the deceased, the relatives of the deceased and the leader of MCP all who showed their grief in their eulogies that he couldn’t stand it? 2- is the president confirming the rumours that have been going around that he is not in good health? He looked frail yes but with his advancing age we have been with him in that appearance way before the elections and he addressed political rallies looking more or less the same.is he sick? 3- Is the president not conversant with traditional funeral practices? Was he scared of addressing the less literate multitudes in their vernacular language? I have seen him speak at funerals before tough with difficulties sometimes, but he has done it before. Is he not conversant with the Chewa culture when it ones to delivering condolences or he has lost touch with it? Just my thoughts since I sat closer to Him

    1. Kanthu Ako! says:

      I envy you Nzika. You are blessed with stupidity.

  38. chamakoza says:

    Tikusowa nachakuyowoya tawinu tiliwakulira tikuti phepani wene Tembo

  39. Charter says:

    Mama vice president kuumila kotereku bwanji?

  40. Funso nkumati; kodi amai odzichepetsa choncho adakalipobe? Ndikukhulupilila kuti alipo komano sanachiluke. Kapumeni bwino amama.

  41. cashy G says:

    Why publicising the donations?the bible doent allow that. MAY HER SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE

  42. Chipoya LJ. says:

    Again Nyasatimes’s battle against DPP and its President can critically be seen in almost each and every political article (including this one) they can feature.
    In this case why saying (writing) Mutharika donated K300,000 and other items while Chakwera and his MCP donated K1, 595, 970. What sort of narrative is this? What sort of impression you want to give to the readers? How I wish you to try to write balancing stories as per your ethics as learned journals without spicing your stories with your political editorial policy.

    How I wish this battle to cease just for the betterment/credibility of this our beloved on line medium (Nyasatime). I believe you won’t edit this comment of mine this time now and that you will feature it.

    All in all, GOD bless Malawi!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Moya says:

      Dont hate messenger, if u are not happy with the amount donated by hate the leadership, they very much know this was a public funeral and they could have played it safe with a better amount or spy what range others are contributing. You can’t seperate Peter from DPP its tge way it is.

  43. New Govt says:

    Thanx to all parties for unity. Big up for maturity.

  44. Callister Daniel Phiri says:

    Callister Mauthanyula Daniel Phiri chosapitira kumaliro chikhala cha? Nyini yako. Nsanje ndimaliro omwe? Mwinaso wakonzekera kukalowa Tu, paja iwe ndi ma cereb? Two years later udzililaso Maliro. Kkkkkkk. Ugalu bwako

  45. Humphrey says:

    Kodi mukuti chilima wapepesa ka chibinyira ka mpunga?

    1. Baba wa Boyi says:

      Inu nda chitsilu,

      Many people forget that kumaliro anthu amafunika kudya. Therefore the food that Chilima gave was not kupepetsa, it was thinking the African way, food for the people pamaliro.

      The fact that Nyasi Times decided, like you to make it an issue to “Nyazitsa” Chilima is not chilimas problem but yours.

      Mwana wan’gono anadziwa kuti kumaliro anthu ayenereka kudya. That to me is more important than giving millions.

  46. Mbukavu says:

    May her soul rest in eternal peace

  47. Amon ezara says:

    R.I.P Ruth

  48. Du says:

    Mwafwa tafwa! Mzimu wa chiponde uwe mu mtende wa Fumu yithu.

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