Malawi first female president Joyce Banda has paid tribute to heroine and first female cabinet minister, Rose Chibambo, saying she was her ‘role model’.
Chibambo died this week in Blantyre and will be buried on Saturday.
In a statement, Banda said she has learnt with “shock” the death of Chibambo.
“As far as I am concerned she was a ‘Heroine’. She was my ‘Role Model’ since I was very young,” said Banda.
She stated: “Rose Chibambo was one of four women who were arrested, tried, sentenced and sent to prison in the 1960s. Her crime was the fight against the minority White rule and colonialism.
“In 2009, the late President Bingu wa Mutharika charged me with the responsibility of liaising with Mrs. Chibambo when he wanted to name a road in her honor in Mzuzu. After the afternoon event at the road site, there was a celebration dinner at Mzuzu Hotel where I was present and spoke on behalf of our late President.
“This event provided me with a rare opportunity to chat with her and learn more from her about her political life. She told me that when she went to prison, she was breastfeeding. Being a mother myself, It was difficult for me to comprehend how she could give up so much for our sake,” said Banda.
Banda recalls that when the country got independence from Britain in 1964, Chibambo became the first Deputy Minister in Malawi.
“ As my role model, I used to stand outside Parliament in Zomba just to watch Rose Chibambo enter Parliament,” she said.
“A few months after her appointment and following the infamous 1964 cabinet crisis she and her husband had to leave Malawi to go and live in Zambia. Unfortunately her children had to remain behind. Most tragic was the death of her husband a few years later in Zambia,” recalls Banda.
“I have lived to admire the courage of Mrs. Rose Chibambo. Her faith, her capacity to love and her ability to forgive have inspired me. She was a woman who sacrificed so much for Malawi’s freedom,” said Banda.
The former president described Chibambo as “extraordinary woman” and appealed to Malawians to also celebrate her life.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :