Malawi political figures and prominent opinion makers pay tribute to former Speaker and opposition politician Sam Mpasu following his death as his direct cousing Stanley Wasi said he was found dead Thursday morning at his home in Mudi, Blantyre.
He has died of high blood pressure, according to a postmortem conducted at the College of Medicine in Blantyre.
Former president Bakili Muluzi said he learnt of the passing of Mpasu with “deep sorrow”, describing him as a brave politician that represented “courage” and “determination” .
He said when he appointed Mpasu in his first Cabinet after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, he remembers him as a dedicated minister’.
“Mpasu was one of the strong politicians who liked to express his opinions without fear. Perhaps it was this strength of character of not showing fear that landed him in trouble with Dr. [Kamuzu] Banda [Malawi’s founding president],” he joked.
“As education minister, Mpasu worked hard to make sure that free primary school education succeeded despite numerous challenges at the onset,” added Muluzi.
Minister of Information, who is also government spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi, said Malawi has lost one of the pioneers of multiparty democracy.
“Mpasu has left a legacy of fighting for democracy, patriotism and self-determination for his country. We shall surely miss him,” he said.
MCP spokesperson, Ezekiel Ching’oma, said Malawi has lost a national icon whose name is common in the political circles.
“The president of the Malawi Congress Party and the entire MCP is shocked at the untimely death. He is one of the great sons of Malawi. We can’t talk of politics in Malawi and skip the name Sam Mpasu,” he said.
A writer and publisher Alfred Msadala said Mpasu was a deep and creative writer whose works mentored him to take writing seriously.
“He did not sit me down to mentor me, his works did. His writing style was addictive to the reader. He was able to use words to create vivid images in the minds of his readers. He used realism in that he was able to put whatever experience he had in his life to reflect in his writing with great clarity,” said Msadala.
According to Wasi, he went to Mpasu’s house today morning to check on him after he got calls from Mpasu’s son who us based in the UK that his father was not picking up his calls.
“When I went there, the door was still locked. I had to peep through the window. I later I had to force the door open and that was when we found him,” Wasi said.
Survived by six children, Mpasu will be buried in Khudzi Village, T/A Makwangwala in Ntcheu district “within this week” according to Wasi.
Meanwhile, the family is yet to come up a funeral arrangement programme because they are waiting for Mpasu’s children who are outside Malawi—they are expected to arrive in the country on Friday February 16, 2018.
Born in 1945, Mpasu was detained at Mikuyu Prison without trial from January 22 1975 to January 10 1977. In 1991 he joined UDF which at the time was an underground organisation, and fought Banda’s dictatorship. He was appointed to the National Referendum Committee.
In 1994, when UDF became the first democratically elected government in the country, Mpasu was elected member of Parliament for Ntcheu Central.
He has served as minister of Education, Science and Technology (1994-95), minister of Health and Population (1995-1996), minister of Information (1997-1999) and minister of Commerce and Industry (2003-2004).
In 2008, he was convicted of corruption over Fieldyork International text book scam of 1994 and sentenced to six years imprisonment. He was released in August 2010 for good conduct.
He joined the New Labour Party in 2012 and became president of the party after Friday Jumbe resigned.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :