Chihana’s grave desolate site: Malawi pro-democracy hero

Malawi’s hero of multiparty democracy Chakufwa Chihana’s tiny grave in the city of Mzuzu remains a desolate, abandoned site despite earlier government promises to erect a mausoleum befitting the fallen trade union, human rights activist nd served as the country’s second vice-president.

Chakufwa Tom Chihana is a name that is associated with multiparty politics of Malawi

Chakufwa Tom Chihana is a name that is associated with multiparty politics of Malawi

Chihana's abandoned grave in Mzuzu

Chihana’s abandoned grave in Mzuzu

The administration of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika pledged to construct a mausoleum. And after Bingu’s death, his successor, Joyce Banda also said the structure would be built.

But now the grave has a faded Chihana portrait hanging under a falling roof, marked with untrimmed flowers, overgrown grass, and heavy dust settling on the unguarded grave, conjuring an eerie image, especially at night.

The grave stands in mockery of the state-of-the-art national mausoleum befitting a former Second Vice-President.

Chihana’s son Enock Chihana, who is Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president and member of Parliament (MP) for Rumphi Central Constituency, said the family is waiting for government to honour its promise to construct a K400 million mausoleum for the fallen freedom fighter.

“We are just waiting for the construction of the mausoleum. If government fails to construct it,
that is when as a family we can discuss what to do but at the moment let us give government a chance,” he said.

Minister of Information, Kondwani Nankhumwa said government has since submitted the drawings and the designs of the mausoleum on how it should look like to the Department of Economic planning and Development “to evaluate everything”.

Former president Bakili Muluzi in 2014 donated K1 million (about $2 000) towards the upgrading of the grave site of Chihana.

The late Chihana, is also among 37 individuals and organisations from 24 countries that were awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award since 1984. He got his award in 1992.

On 6 April 1992, Chakufwa Tom Chihana walked into the den of lions when he landed at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) and openly did the unthinkable. He challenged the entrenched Kamuzu Banda’s 31-year-old autocratic rule under the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

Effectively, he put into motion, with others, a movement that saw the feared MCP regime crumble; hence entered into the annals of history as one of the founding fathers of Malawi’s multipartyism.

Chihana died in June 2006.

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He is a hero

Mvula J. Mvula

Chihana remains a hero in the Malawian history. We can not erase him from the history of Malawi. If it was not for the regionalism, tribalism and the so many ism’s of Malawi; he would have been the first multi-party President of Malawi. The figure for the mausoleum could be contested but as a national figure, the nation has a duty for the maintenance of the graveyard where our hero lies. Demonisation of Enock does not help either.

ellias munthali

he deserve it

austin kadiso banda

How many mausoleums are we going to construct for our HEROES.uwu ndiye uchindere wakufikapo .

Lufita boy

mpaka kudikira boma kuti likonze manda abambo ako inu muli pheee kuphwanya zonona

Much as I appreciate the need to honour Chihana for his contribution to the good of Malawi, I feel 400 million kwacha is miles beyond our financial resourses. It is unethical to spend 400 million for a grave yard when so many people die of preventable deaths in our hospitals. With 400 million you can buy lots of drugs to save lives of so many poor malawians who die of Maleria, TB and other diseases every year because of lack of drugs. However, the goverment should spend a reasonable amount to take care of Chihana’s grave. We should not politicize… Read more »

Bakili ndi munthu wabwino mpaka adayamba kusogolera a Malawi kuti achitepo kanthu kukonza manda a Chakufwa. A Chair woyeeeeeeeeee. Osati mbuzi zinazi.


Enock was a full cabinet minister for 2 solid years and he could not do anything to honour his biological father. And now he wants to push the responsibility to others? Mwana uyu ali chindere chakufikapo. The fact that he grew up in Katola’s household in Kasungu dancing nyau does not make him less Mtumbuka. Zeleza.

The definition of a hero remains elusive in most Malawians. To begin with true heroes or heroines stand by their ideology. The history of Chakufwa, to me, is reminiscent of a biblical verse which talks about foolish Galatians. Yes, Chihana announced his coming to Malawi as democracy champion with the like of Muluzi. Unfortunately, these guys were not visionary and sophisticated enough to manage the demerits of democracy. If Malawi is a nation without morals/discipline today, these guys are the architects of indecency we are grappling with. These guys could stop at nothing to fraudulently amass wealth for themselves. For… Read more »

The poorest country in Africa planning to spend half a billion Kwacha on a mausoleum. With K400,000,000 we can construct 400 mijigos and name them after our Heroes. It is called killing two birds with one stone.


Mijigo yake yosatuluka madzi chifukwa cha chinyengo cha mulli ndi mia pano mwalowetsa chilombo saulosi mumva za gaffar

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