The immediate family of slain Cabinet minister Dick Tennyson Matenje has issued a statement clarifying that none of the former minister’s children had joined Malawi Congress Party (MCP); Don John Matenje who was unveiled by the party on Saturday is a son of Dick’s brother.
Richard Dick Matenje, a biological son of Dick Matenje, said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that his family distances itself from MCP.
“Don John Matenje is the son of the late John Tennyson Matenje, the brother of the late Dick Matenje,” reads the statement dated March 11 2018.
The statement said Don Matenje has joined MCP “as an individual and in exercise of his rights to freedom of association, conscience, opinion and expression guaranteed by and under the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.”
It adds: “His political views do not represent those of the immediate family of the late Dick Matenje.”
The Matenje family said it wished Don John Matenje “well as a members of the Malawi Congress Party. He remains a valued member of the extended Matenje family.”
MCP unveiled Don Matenje as a son of the murdered minister.
But Don said although he is not the biological son of the late Dick Matenje, culturally he considers the late Matenje as his father.
“A brother of my father is my father,” he said.
Besides Don Matenje, MCP also unveiled Francis Chiwanga, son to former member of Parliament (MP) David Chiwanga who was murdered alongside Dick Matenje.
Matenje and Chiwanga were among four MCP politicians killed in Machiavellian style in Mwanza in 1983 before their bodies were allegedly stuffed in one vehicle and pushed down a cliff along Thambani Road to make it look like their car plunged down an embankment in an accident but their bodies bore the marks of gunshot wounds.
In 1994, when president Bakili Muluzi came to power, he instituted a commission of inquiry into the mysterious deaths of the politicians. The findings of the inquiry led to the arrest and then prosecution of former president Kamuzu Banda, his confidante, Cecilia Kadzamira, John Tembo, former police chief late Mac Williams Lunguzi and two other policemen, for murder. However, both the High and Supreme Court of Appeal cleared the seven people.
Chiwanga’s son said it was depressing that some parties were using their fathers’ tragedy to de-campaign the MCP ahead of next year’s polls.
“The people in the other camp are busy citing our parents’ names as examples of the alleged atrocities committed by MCP during its previous regime. But we have decided to work with the MCP because we know those killings were not committed by the current regime,” he told the gathering.
Chiwanga and Matenje were welcomed into the MCP fold alongside Francis Muluzi, believed to be son to former president Bakili Muluzi and Chiyembekezo Bwanali, son to former Cabinet minister, the late Edward Bwanali.
Muluzi family have refused to comment on Francis.
There have been comments attributed to the Muluzi family on Francis circulating on social media, but they have refused to dragged into a debate about the matter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :