There was drama at the burial ceremony of deputy chief secretary to the government Willie Samute at his home Songani in Zomba on Sunday when ruling DPP officials annoyed mourners on their conduct to ill-treating retired chief justice Richard Banda (former First Gentleman), snatching away the wreaths he had bought too lay.
The former first gentleman had bought three wreaths for himself, Member of Parliament for the area Akajuwe Roy Kachale Banda (People’s Party) and the PP secretary general Ibrahim Matola.
But government officials snatched the wreaths from the women who were keeping them.
Government directed that everyone else should lay their wreaths first with Banda, MP Akajuwe and the PP secretary general be the last.
When the Director of Ceremonies Wokomaatani Malunga called the three at the end of everything, the Mvano women who had the wreaths said that they had been snatched of the wreaths and given to some other people from ruling DPP. The DPP officials came without wreaths.
The former chief justice, the MP and Matola had to stand on the tomb, pay respects and returned without laying wreaths.
This attracted boos from the mourners targeted at government.
The mourners and bereaved family said they were unhappy with government for politicising the funeral.
Banda was however commended for helping the bereaved family with food and resources to ease their pain during the time.
One of the mourners Mrs Nyambalo said : ” It is not fair because since Thursday, the former president Banda has been sending food, firewood, maize and even bought a cow for the people to use while waiting for the body to arrive from South Africa and all these things from the family of the former President were being delivered by the former First Gentleman who was spending a lot of time with us here in the village during this difficult time.”
PP secretary general Matola said former president Joyce Banda, who appointed Samute to the rank of Deputy Chief Secretary in 2012, is “deeply shocked” with his death.
Matola said the event was not a political function but a funeral of one of Malawis finest civil servants and one that Banda elevated to the highest position of Deputy Chief Secretary because of his integrity and hard work.
Born on February 18 1958, Samute is survived by a wife and three children.
He joined the service on August 11 1981, serving in various capacities before rising to acting chief secretary to the government and then deputy chief secretary.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :