Malawi opposition demand probe on ‘suspicious’ death of judges Mbendera and Bakuwa

Malawi opposition leaders on Thursday pulled from one direction to address a news conference  in Lilongwe are demanding an investigation into what they call ‘suspicious’ deaths of Justice Maxon Mbendera and Justice George Bakuwa.

Opposition leaders addressing a news conference

Mbendera, Chairperson of Malawi Electoral Commission at the time of his death, died on 18 August 2016 after collapsing during a meeting in Lilongwe while Justice Bakuwa died on 18 November 2016, on a tour of duty in Zambia, barely two weeks after taking his oath of office.  He was working on the controversial maize purchase deal in Zambia for f State-produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc)  where he previously served as company secretary.

“Credibility of our national institutions for the rule of law, transparency and accountability has been put into question. Suspicious deaths of Justice Mbendera and Justice Bakuwa have not been put under investigation,” said  Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president and Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera says

People’s Progressive Movement  (PPM) president Mark Katsonga added: “All of us stood and we were voted for. It is an insult that the whole government machinery should come from tribe. Any suspicious death must be investigated. We need Mbendera’s death to be thoroughly investigated. ”

Call for Bakuwa’s death probe are not new.  Following allegations of corrupt elements in the ‘maizegate’ leaders of the country’s key CSOs, including Public Affairs Committee (PAC), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen), Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) and Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec), sounded  the fist appeal for Bakuwa’s death  to be investigated.

Others who demanded for the prove were Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Youth and Society (YAS) and Citizen Alliance.

There has been speculation that Bakuwa may have been poisoned  after he expressed reservation on the ‘cashgate’ style of corruption in the procurement saga.

He died after his sugar level rose too high, similar to the death of Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera.

Like the CSO’s the opposition say government should have released details on the circumstances that led to Bakuwa’s death and the treatment provided to him.

They argue that government did  not bother to disclose any details to dispel the mystery over Bakuwa’s death.

However, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu  has said the opposition should not play politics with the death of the two judges.

Tembenu downplayes speculations that the sudden death Mbendera, was “state-sponsored” murder, saying the former judge had health problem before his demise.

A pathologist at the College of Medicine conducted the autoposy.

It is said late Mbendera before his passing was profusely sweating, had nausea and vomiting, an irregular and slow heartbeat.

He was served with a glass of water and a cup of coffee whilst waiting for the planned meeting before his sudden death.

But Tembenu  disclosed that Mbendera had a sugar problem, which was high according to his family, before he left for Lilongwe where he died suddenly.

The Justice Minister called the allegations of foul play as “absurd.”

Mbendera was the first MEC chairperson to handle tripartite elections on May 20 2014.

He will be remembered for publicly and uncharacteristically weeping on May 30 2014 as he announced final results of the May 201 2014 Tripartite Elections at the National Tally Centre in Blantyre.

His gesture shocked many Malawians, especially coming against a background of reports of disagreements among MEC commissioners on results

He confessed that he had an emotional attack after realizing that he was about to make a declaration that would spark wild celebrations for the winning party when one family elsewhere was mourning.

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Chasekelera Chakwiya

Kodi imfa mumayesa choseweretsa, eti? Pamene achibale ayamba kuiwala za okondedwa wao inu mukuti mufufuze, kapenatu inuyo mukudziwapo kanthu? I think a Police awagwire amenewa ali ndi nkhani


Malawi…..each and every time, there was a request\probe on mwanza road accident, what was the outcome? chasowas mysterious death, what was the outcome? who shot mphwiyo, just to mention a few. Now this opposition are demanding to know why these two guys died, mmm. Nothing will come out for sure. You are just waisting your time sitting/ga thering, for nothing. I’m not dpp. This government will tell nothing. Believe you me.

The Partriot

Do these people think they can kill their way into every corruption case?
There will be payback time one day, truth will out no matter how long it will take.
The deaths of Mbendera, Bakuwa, Njauju, and Chasowa will never be forgotten! These people had families just like anybody else and they wanted to live just anyone else! May their souls rest in peace. But may the conscience of those who were involved in these deaths trouble them to their graves!!




Mbendera’s death was God’s gift to us for corruptly ushering to power APM. The imbecile had to die as punishment for cheating Malawians. Bakuwa is a hero because he didn’t agree with DPP thieves on maizegate so he was eliminated. No need for investigations God is already doing his work on our behalf.


Kuwononga chuma cha Boma kwa vuta Ku Malawi ndiye APM chitanipo kanthu tiwonera Chaponda mumutani as this is a straight forward case ?
A Kasonga mupaka anthu akwanu kumukanani ndiye kukhara mutsogoleri ? Just concentrate on you business and forget about politics.

Kinord Mkwinda
Yes. The opposition is missing a point. Death is death. What is important for the country is change in social economic status of the people not deaths. Let’s agitate for better policies, laws and adherance laid down plans that will change the nation and malawians for the better. We should not as politicians divert our reasoning towards personal aggrandisement. In such cases Malawi will never develop. Opposisition can’t we talk about the water project, money at Escom, MERA and other issues affecting Malawians instead of deaths. Please borrow a leaf from Hon. John Zenas Ungapake Tembo on how to tackle… Read more »
be humane
Mr. Chakwera, Malawi cannot keep on investigating death of people holding senior positions everytime they die. Do you mean people in high positions cannot die a natural death? How many inquiries then will Malawi have at a time if every death is to be investigated? Which resources to waste in death inquiries? Yes there are other deaths like murder cases yes require investigations but not all deaths. Please if you have nothing to say just chart with the people rather than making nonsense everytime you stand on the podium. Cheap politics ku Malawi inatha may be because you have just… Read more »
be humane

Kodi ndiye kuti munthu akamwalira tidzingokhalira investigations? You opposition you mean munthu wamkulu pa udindo akamwalira its not a natural death and it means somebody played a role in that deaths? Then how many death inquiries will be conducted in Malawi? which resources to waste with death inquiries? Ngati mulibe chonena just keep quiet. I know there are some deaths that require investigations like the Njaunju and Chasowa. usually we should be talking of these murder cases. Please be serious Mr. Chakwera dont take Malawi for a ride


A Katsonga ine ndiwa opposition koma kodi kufa kwa a Mbendera afufuze family members or ndani? Amene aja anafa nthawi itakwana basi talankhulani zanzeru apa.Kodi inquirery amapanga ulere? Ndalama zake mupereka ndinu? Mukulephera kulipira antchito anu ndiye mungapereke ndalama za kafukufuku? Vomerani kuti uhule pa ndale wakuvutani ndiye mukungotokota ngati phokonyole wokankha.

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