Politicians have welcomed the decision by President Peter Mutharika that the funeral of late Joseph Kubwalo who once served as Minister of Defence under the reign of former president Bakili Muluzi be accorded a military honour, saying he was one of the frontline troops in the fight for plural politics.
Kubwalo passed away peacefully on Wednesday at Adventist Hospital in the commercial capital Blantyre after suffering a long illnes
He will be laid to rest on Saturday at Chirimba, Chirimba Industrial Site.
Kubwalo,a former photographer for founding president Kamuzu Banda at the Malawi News Agency of the Ministry of Information, was one of the founding members of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and together with Muluzi fought the one party dictatorship.
During Muluzi’s first term from 1994 to 1999, Kubwalo served as UDF legislator for Blantyre City West and Minister of Defence. He was later appointed High Commissioner to Tanzania.
Muluzi, who joined the mourners in Blantyre on Thursday, has paid tribute to Kubwalo, praising him as one of the pioneers of democrcay and a “man of great decency and principle”.
“His passing is a blow for his friends and family. At this sad time, I extend my deepest sympathy to his family,” said Muluzi.
Former Finance Minister Friday Jumbe said he was “saddened” to hear of Kubwalo’s death.
He described Kubwalo was a “distinguished politician”.
Political commentator Humphrey Mvula said he will remember him as a good man “who always did what he thought was right for his country.”
The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) in a statement signed by Chief Secretary to the President Lloyd Muhara seen by Nyasa Times said Kubwalo will be buried with full military honours and a cavalry trumpet call known as Last Post played by the military.
“The Office of the President and Cabinet wishes to announce that Honourable Joseph Kubwalo, a former Cabinet Minister, died on Wednesday November 21, 2018 in Blantyre. Vigil is at his residence in Chirimba, Blantyre,” reads the statement.
President Mutharika has since delegated Minister if Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa to represent government at the burial ceremony near Chirimba Industrial Area in Blantyre.
Kubwalo was born on September 17 1938 and joined the civil service in 1958 before retiring in 1992 to join UDF. He is survived by a wife and six children, according to Kusali, one of the deceased’s daughters.
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