Malawi ex-chief secretary Alfred Upindi laid to rest: Glowing tributes

Malawians in their hundreds gathered in Chiradzulu to pay their last respects to former Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), Alfred Upindi.

Late Upindi died last Wednesday at a South African hospital  after a long battle with diabetes complications, which necessitated foreign medical treatment.

LateUpindi had been in South Africa since February this year receiving medical treatment, according to family members.

Malawi’s Vice President Khumbo Kachali, former President and Vice President, Bakili Muluzi and Justin Malewezi respectively, Chief  Secretary in OPC, Hanna Ndilowe were among senior dignitaries who escorted late Upindi to his final resting place at Mbowola Village in the area of T/A Nkalo.

VP’s Eulogy

Upindi: Mourned by Malawians
Upindi: Mourned by Malawians

In his eulogy, Kachali described Upindi as a dedicated government officer who worked with diligence until the time of his retirement.

The vice president said the Malawi President Joyce Banda –currently in Japan – was saddened with Upindi’s death, who worked as chief secretary between 1994 and 2004.

Kachali condoled the bereaved family with K400 000 from President Banda.

Malewezi’s tribute

In his tribute, Malewezi said late Upindi was an exemplary person who was easy to work with and advised the then president (Bakili Muluzi) without fear or favour.

He said the ex-chief secretary would be remembered for his great contribution to the nation.

Chikaonda’s  on Upindi life

CEO for conglomerate Press Corporation, Professor Mathews Chikaonda, said he regarded Upindi as his brother because  they stayed together in Canada for eight years and married a niece of his wife, Nancy.

He said Upindi went to the famous Box 48, Dedza Secondary School and upon completion joined the Geological Survey. He later went to Oxford University and on his return worked in several government ministries including trade and industry.

Upindi was PS for two ministries at one time, and in 1978 was sent to open an embassy in Canada.

Chikaonda said although this was a time of sorrow, it was also a time to celebrate Upindi’s life who had three principles: “Be at peace with God, be at peace with fellow human being and be glad and thankful for God’s blessings.”

On his work as SPC, which was to advise the president and cabinet, Chikaonda, quoting an interview Upindi had with The Lamp magazine, said Upindi’s working principle was not “to fear anyone but God.”

Fact file

Born on December 25, 1944, late Upindi was the first Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) in Malawi’s multiparty era.

He joined the civil service in 1965 as an administrative officer and worked in various government departments for over 40 years until his retirement in 2004.

Late Upindi, who is survived by a wife, three children and five grand children, first worked for the Office of the President and Cabinet in 1970 before being made Under Secretary in 1972.

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