Former president of Malawi’s fifth largest political party – the Alliance for Democracy (Aford), Dindi Gowa Nyasulu has died following a short illness.
Aford secretary general Khwauli Msiska confirmed the death on Tuesday.
Msiska said Nyasulu died in South African hospital where he went for treatment. At the time of his death he was 68 years old.
He said his body will be repatriated home for burial but said arrangements and programme of the funeral will be released by the family.
Msiska praised Gowa’s “immense” contribution to Malawi politics.
He said Aford “will forever miss him and shall always remember his selfless contribution to AFORD during critical moments. He was able to provide leadership which enabled AFORD sail through some rough waters.”
The party secretary general told Nyasa Times that he was “deeply saddened”.
Msiska explained that Gowa Nyasulu began his active political career as a party executive member of the South Africa wing during the formative period of the party. In 1997, he went on to win a bye election and became a Member of Parliament for Rumphi East following the death of Dr. Denis Simphawaka Nkhwazi, a position that he successfully defended in the 1999 parliamentary elections.
“He was able to provide leadership at that level whilst at the same time running his Mphizi Engineering Consulting firm as a successful professional civil engineer,” said Msiska.
Nyasulu resigned his Aford presidency post and Godfrey Shawa was appointed by the party’s politburo to act as party president.
Nyasulu is survived by a wife, four daughters, a son and three grandchildren.
He hailed from Luuchi village in Rumphi East.
Aford was founded by fire-brand pro-democracy campaigner Chakufwa Chihana in 1992 after the Catholic Church made the first direct challenge to the then one-party dictatorship under Hastings Kamuzu Banda and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
The party swooped all the 33 parliamentary seats in the northern region and three more in the central district of Kasungu making it the king-maker despite Chihana losing the presidency to Bakili Muluzi in the first multiparty elections in 30 years in 1994.
To balance power in Parliament Muluzi invited Aford into an alliance with the then ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) and made Chihana Second Vice-President.
The party’s fortunes started waning when Chihana unilaterally dumped the government accusing it of corruption. Aford ministers who went into cabinet with him refused to follow him out of government. The party split into two with one faction forming a rival party.
By the time Chihana died in 2006 the party only had six seats in the 193-member Parliament. Currently it only has two MPs – Msiska and party chairman Enoch Chihana, the founder’s son.
Both Msiska and Chihana are ministers in President Joyce Banda’s Peoples Party-led government.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :