Hundreds of Malawians on Thursday – led by President Lazarus Chakwera – trekked to Msinja Ground in Malingunde in the capital Lilongwe to pay their last respects to former first lady Madame Annie Chidzira Muluzi who died on December 28, 2021 in Kenya aged 69 after a long battle with cancer.
Notable dignitaries – especially in the political kindred – attended the function including former president Joyce Banda, former vice president Khumbo Kachali, and George Chaponda who represented former president Peter Mutharika.
Speaking on behalf of President Lazarus Chakwera, deputy defence minister, Jean Sendeza, said Annie Muluzi was exemplary to the people of Malawi.
“She was a humble; a virtue that all Malawian women must emulate and, above all, she was hardworking – especially during the transition from the one-party era to multipartyism in the manner she supported her husband Dr. Bakili Muluzi,” Sendeza said.
According to Sendeza, President Chakwera was heartbroken at the loss of a “formidable citizen”
“We have come from different backgrounds. Different political parties. We differ out there politically but here we are united because the late First Lady was someone who laughed with everyone regardless of whatsoever,” she said.
Callista Mutharika, wife to former President Bingu wa Mutharika, who spoke on behalf of all former first ladies, celebrated Annie Muluzi as a “charming lady who you would always want to meet again.”
Paramount Chief Kawinga said Annie Muluzi was a mother-figure among the people of Kapoloma in Machinga, her husband’s home.
“You might say that she helped you a lot here in Lilongwe but let me tell you that she did more in her husband’s home, something that is quite rare. She did not only care about the Muluzi people but to every one who came to her for help.
“It is like they married each other as brother and wife [Bakili and Annie] because they were both selfless and were always there for the needy. [Bakili] Muluzi might have seemed clever and intelligent in his dealings as President but, trust me, Annie was there behind the scenes,” Kawinga said.
According to Bintony Kutsaira, who represented the Chidzira family, Annie – born on March 18, 1952 – was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 whilst she was living in the US but was treated.
However, he said, the problem resurfaced in 2020 until this year when her condition worsened and was admitted to Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya where she died on Tuesday, December 28, 2021.
She is survived by a son, Atupele Muluzi, who is opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) president. Atupele’s only sister Esmie Atuweni Malisita died on December 12, 2016 after she was struck by lightning.
President Chakwera and vice president Saulos Chilima have condoled the bereaved family with K2.5 million and K1.8 million respectively.
Former President Peter Mutharika and his representative George Chaponda also condoled with K1 million and K500 000 respectively. Former President Joyce Banda also condoled the bereaved family with K500 000.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :