Managing Director of Times Group Leonard Chakadya has confessed that the death of seasoned journalist and celebrated columnist Ralph Tenthani would affect sales of one its publications, The Sunday Times.
Chikadya made the remarks at College Medicine Mortuary when scores of people paid their last respects to the fallen media hero.
Tenthani died in a car accident at Kam’mwamba in Balaka on Saturday on his way from his home village Sharpe Valle in Ntcheu.
He was pronounced dead on arrival at Mlambe Mission Hospital in Blantyre in an accident which also involved his two sons, a brother and a colleague.
Chakadya said his column the ‘Muckraker’ published every week in The Sunday Times was helped to gain readership.
“I would like to offer condolence Ralph’s family and those who had worked with him at Times Group,” Chikadya said.
“I must say The Sunday Times will no longer be the same again because his column attracted readers. Most of The Sunday Times reader started with his column.”
He also said the death had robbed the country of a fiery critic who always strived for the authorities to provide checks and balances.
“To the politicians Ralph’s death is a big blow because he used to give constructive criticisms on policy issues,” he added.
Scores of journalists including the Mayor of Blantyre City Noel Chalamanda, politician Humphreys Mvula were among those turned out to pay their last respects at College of Medicine in Blantyre.
Meanwhile, President Peter Mutharika has joined the media fraternity in the country in paying tribute to Tenthani.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times, Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa said the President was deeply shocked with Tenthani’s death, describing him as a patriot whose writings fought for democracy in Malawi.
Said Nankhumwa in the statement:“Tenthani was not an ordinary media practitioner. He was a patriot, who, through his writings, fought for and shaped Malawi’s democracy. Through his writings locally and beyond, he helped in putting Malawi on the world map. Mr. Tenthani contributed in the development of Malawi by sensitising our citizens on their rights and responsibilities.
“He will be missed for his charm, his courage, zeal, skill and his willingness to share his ideas with us all.”
Former president Joyce Banda, speaking through her press officer Tusekele Mwanyongo, said she was greatly shocked to learn about the tragic death of Tenthani, known for his impeccable English.
Hr said Joyce Banda, currently in United States and expected back in Malaiw this months, was “deeply troubled and saddened” by the death of Tenthani.
She described Tenthani as “one of the most outstanding journalists of his generation” and that his reports on BBC, Associated Press, Sunday Times, Pana, Nyasa Times were “always perceptive, balanced and compelling.”
Banda said her thoughts were with Tenthani’s friends and family.
The body of Tenthani, who died aged 44 years-old, will be buried at his home Sharp Valley village in Ntcheu on Monday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :