Malawi political leaders from different parties joined thousands of mourners led by vice president Khumbo Kachali to pay their last respects to former president Bakili Muluzi’s mother, Gogo Chenalikusika who was laid to rest Monday at Majiga Village, Traditional Authority Kapoloma in Machinga district.
She was laid to rest with Islamic prayers and respects.
Muluzi himself and son Atupele minister of Economic Planning and Development did not attend the funeral. The former president is in South Africa seeking medical treatment while Atupele is in Japan on official duties.
Although the mood was somber, it provided a rare opportunity where for once political leaders from various political parties demonstrated rare unity in mourning Muluzi’s mother.
Notable leaders that attended the Muslim service were Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) interim president Peter Mutharika, PPM president Mark Katsonga, business tycoon LestonMulli and an entourage from Malawi Congress Party led by vice president George Lombola.
Several leaders from the UDF party including secretary-general Kennedy Makwangwala, Dr George Nga Ntafu and Friday Jumbe also attended the funeral service.
Delivering his condolence message, Vice President Kachali said Gogo Chenalikusika’s death had brought together people of different political persuasions which demonstrated that Malawians were united both in good and difficult times.
“It is sad for the Muluzi family and the nation at large to be mourning Gogo Chenalikusika when she should have been the center of celebration for all of us during this mother’s day period,” lamented Kachali.
Mtafu who spoke on behalf of the UDF told the gathering that the party has lost the mother who was very intrumental during the formative years of the UDF.
“We used to conduct secret meetings here and she never betrayed us and probably you can understand why we are here in large numbers,”said Mtafu.
Mtafu said Gogo Chenalikusika was always supportive and accommodative of UDF pioneers in their underground meetings during Dr Kamuzu Banda’s administration when any opposition to the MCP was risky.
She died in the early hours of Saturday at the age of 92.
Gogo Chenalikusika is survived by two children, Bakili Muluzi and Esnart Katema and 186 grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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