Death has been announced of councilor Joana Ntaja, who was also mayor of Zomba – Malawi’s oldest city, Nyasa Times has learnt.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) publicist Francis Kasaila, a party to which Ntaja belonged, confirmed the development with local press Sunday.
Ntaja is said to have passed on Sunday morning at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in Blantyre after a short illness.
Kasaila said there was still scanty information regarding the cause of her death and funeral arrangements.
He, however, said details would be made available to the public soonest.
The body of late Ntaja has been taken to College of Medicine mortuary for preservation.
Meanwhile, President Peter Mutharika said he learnt with “regret and deep sadness” the untimely death of the Mayor.
“The death of Councilor Ntaja, who was a dedicated member of the ruling Democratic Progress Party (DPP), is more heartrending because she was youthful, dying at a young age of 31 and only female Mayor in this country,” said Mutharika in a condolence statement issued by State House press officer Chikondi Juma.
“ The nation has lost a productive and useful young woman, a meaningful player at all levels of the socio-economic developent.”
Ntaja was elected councilor in the May 20 tripartite elections and as mayor on 14th July, 2014. She was a holder of an advanced diploma in business management.
She was the sixth mayor for the city and the first female in its history. Ntaja was a native of Zomba, where she is expected to be laid to rest.
Ntaja is survived by a husband and 3 children.