Paramount Chief Mkhumba of Phalombe district has been laid to rest at Mpasa Headquarters aftern being accorded a state funeral graced by the country’s Vice-President Saulos Chilima.
Mkhumba died on Tuesday of Prostate cancer at Zomba Central Hospital at the age of 82.
The funeral attracted several notable figures which included Peoples Party (PP) Member of Parliament and former Minister, Ralph Jooma, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members Noel Masangwi, Nicholas Dausi, Anna Kachikho, State House Chief of Staff Peter Mukhitho, former Chief of Justice Lovemore Munlo and musician cum businessman Limbani ‘Tay Grin’ Kalilani.
In his Condolence speech Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Thom Tarcizio Gowero described Paramount Chief Mkhumba as a dedicated person who was well cultured and was instrumental in the formation of Mulhakho wa Lhomwe.
“He was also exemplary and an advisor to other chiefs. As government we urge members of the deceased family to handle the issue of chieftaincy carefully. We don’t need court injunctions. There is a need to follow proper procedures in choosing the next chief,” Gowero said.
And Chairperson for Mulhakho wa Lhomwe Board of Trustees, Bright Mangulama labelled Paramount Chief Mkhumba as a national icon who laboured in united the country.
Mangulama said the deceased will be missed for his effort in promoting unity among Malawians regardless of tribes or religion.
Mkhumba was seventh in the line of chieftaincy and was crowned Paramount Chief in the Lhomwe tribe territory 2008 by late President Bingu wa Mutharika but assumed the crown of chief in 1988.
He is survived by a wife, 11 children, 26 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
Mkhumba, who was also top leader of the Mhlako Wa Alhomwe grouping, battled with prostate cancer for about three years.