Two former presidents of Malawi, Bakili Muluzi and Joyce Banda, have paid tribute to veteran politician Gwanda Chakuamba who has died at the age of 81.
Chakuamba, who has been ill for sometime and was hospitalised at Adventist Hospital in Blantyre last week, was well-respected in politics.
Unconfirmed reports indicates that late Chakuamba, also known as Mphenzi in the political arena, died of Kidney
failure while others indicate he died of heart failure.
Former president Bakili Muluzi who was amongst people who helped Chakuamba with financial assistance, said: “Like many I am shocked at the death of Gwanda Chakumba. He was a true politician.”
“It is with great sadness that we have lost him. My heartfelt condolences go to his family at what must be an incredibly difficult time for them,” said Muluzi when contacted by Nyasa Times.
Former president Joyce Banda, who is also leader of Peoples Party (PP) issued a condolence message from United States.
“I have learnt with deep shock and disappointment about the death of Hon. Gwanda Chakuamba, one of Malawi’s finest and long-serving politicians. On behalf of the People’s Party (PP) and on my own behalf, I wish to convey heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and the entire nation during this moment of grief. May His Soul Rest in Everlasting Peace,” Banda said.
Before his death, the late Chakuamba had just returned from India where government sent him to receive proper medical treatment.
His admission at Adventist came as he was expecting to fly again to India for a medical check up.
Early this year, Chakuamba vowed to rally behing and die for Mutharika and his rulling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
He made the revelation at a developmental rally Mutharika
held in Nchalo Chikwawa on 8th April, 2016.
During the rally, late Chakuamba assured Mutharika and his DPP that he will do everything possible that the party sweep all parliamentary seats in the lower Shire districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa.
Chakuamba was among the few rremaining espected politicians who struggled to earn Malawians freedom and served in different government portfolios since 1960’s.
He served as a cabinet minister in various portifolios from 1960
before his arrest in 1980 as he was charged with treason by the then one party rule of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) under late Malawi first President Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
He was released in 1993 and after Malawi attained multiparty democracy in 1994, he served as leader of opposition in parliament.
Chakuamba also served as a minister in the cabinet of late DPP founder Bingu wa Mutharika in 2004.
In his last living days on earth, Chakuamba who was born on 4th April, 1934 admitted to have been living a destitute life due to financial constraints.
Meanwhile, tributes have already started to pour in through various social media outlets.
MP Lucius Banda wrote on his Fac book timeline ‘Rest in Peace Gwanda Chakuamba’ a message accompanied by a late Chakuamba Photo.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :