JB lays wreath at crypt of Dunduzu Chiziza

Malawi President Joyce Banda on Saturday paid her respects and visited the Crypt of nationalists late Dunduzu and Yatuta Chisiza in Karonga.

Banda was on her way to the installation ceremony of Chief Kyungu in the northern border district when she made a stopover to lay a wreath at the tomb of the late Chisiza

Late Dunduzu  Chisiza was a nationalist who had been tipped to become the country’s first Finance Minister on independence from Britain in 1964, but died in a mysterious car crash in September 1962, six months before the birth of Dunduzu junior.

President Banda and First Gentleman laying their wreaths at Chisiza tomb. Photo by Collins Mtika/Nyasa Times

Banda said she has made it her passion to track all those people who fought for the country’s liberation and honour them.

“As Malawians we need to thank them for their brevity” she said.

“They should never be forgotten because without them we could not be enjoying our freedoms in Malawi,” said President Banda.

Among others she cited Rose Chibambo, Emily Mkamanga, Tijepano Gondwe. Chibambo face has been embossed on the new Twenty kwacha not. But Mkamanga turned down a ministerial post.

“I have been always asking myself as to why as a country we tend to forget these people. In each and every district in Malawi we have such people and we need to reconsider and honor them. For those who are still alive we get wisdom,” Banda said.

The President, accompanied by the First Gentleman retired chief judge Richard Banda, said Chisiza inspired Malawians in their quest for freedom.

The President pledged that her government will rehabilitate the grave and mausoleum of the late Chisiza.

Speaking on behalf of the Chisiza family, Bazuka Mhango said the family is grateful for the President’s gesture in recognising the late Chisiza and family.

The Chisiza’s nephew Khalangilu Chisiza said the President’s coming was a blessing to the family.

“We know that our problems will be solved. We pray that you should help us,” Khalangilu said.

Chisiza political family tree

The Chisiza family has been involved in the politics of Malawi from independence to multiparty democracy.

Dunduzu’s uncle, Yatuta Chisiza, had also been involved in politics, serving as bodyguard to founding president late Kamuzu Banda during the struggle for independence in the early 1960s.

Following independence, Yatuta turned against the president and was killed during an attempted take-over in 1967.

And Dunduzu’s son, late Du Chisiza Jr served as Minister for Sports, Youth and Culture – in one of Kamuzu’s last cabinets. But he still produced a play  Democracy Boulevard (1993), which, controversially, satirised some of the abuses associated with multi-party democracy.

With the defeat of the MCP, Du Junior, as he was known, announced his withdrawal from active politics and wrote De Summer Blow, exploring political and social issues in the post-Kamuzu era. In 1998 he joined the ruling United Democratic Front.

And speaking to Nyasa Times, Du Chisiza Jr son, Thlupego Chisiza who was arrested for performing a play critical of the government of Mutharika said President Banda’s gesture is “great” to their family, saying “it has shown that she really think of our heros.”—(Additional reporting by Thokozani  M. Chikuni and Thom Chiumia)

The First Couple pays tribute to Chisiza. Photo by Collins Mtika/Nyasa Times
Vice President Khumbo Kachali and wife after paying tribute to Chisiza. Photo by Collins Mtika/Nyasa Times
President Banda and First Gentleman laying their wreaths at Chisiza tomb. Photo by Collins Mtika/Nyasa Times
Bazuka Mhango (right)

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