Remains of Lhomwe Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa have been laid to rest. The remains were interred at his Ntundawosema Headquarters in Thyolo on July 31 2019 with military honours as the traditional leader died at Mwaiwathu on Sunday, July 28, 2019, after a long battle against pneumonia.
Among high-profile mourners who attended the funeral service included President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, Vice President Everton Herbert Chimulirenji, former President Bakili Muluzi, cabinet ministers, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Aisha Mambo Adams, MPs and a number of prominent businesspersons.
Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa presented a eulogy on behalf of the President “who was too aggrieved to speak at the funeral ceremony”.
Nankhumwa said the President was saddened by the death of one of his most trusted confidantes; his advisor and above all, his best friend.
“We gather today to mourn our traditional chief; he was a man who dedicated his life to unity and peaceful co-existence among all Malawians regardless of tribal, political and religious extraction. As others have already said, Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa was a fearless and courageous man,” said Nankhumwa, who is also the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for Southern Region.
Above all, Nankhumwa said the fallen traditional chief was god-fearing hence besides being a funeral with military honours, the Church also took a significant role through praise and worship.
“The President has delegated me to inform the deceased family that he would personally fend for them, especially making sure that the children complete their education.
“Likewise, as the President had assured the Llomwes after President Bingu wa Mutharika had died in office in 2012, he would also rally behind and support them through and through,” said Nankhumwa, asking the Llomwes to expeditiously identify Ngolongoliwa’s replacement as Paramount Chief, “in a transparent and acceptable manner”.
Local Government and Rural Development Minister Ben Malunga Phiri said in his eulogy that the late Ngolongoliwa was always driven by the desire to unite the Llomwes and people of other tribes “as children of one Malawi family”.
“He was an anchor of peace that has abruptly been taken away from us,” he said.
In an apparent reference to opposition leaders who were noticeably absent, Malunga Phiri said Malawians must learn to unite in grief when deaths such as that of Paramount Chief Ngolongoliwa have occurred.
In a show of utter disgust, Mulakho wa Alhomwe Board Chairman, Leston Mulli bemoaned negative social media messages ‘celebrating’ the demise of the paramount chief.
He said death is inevitable and no one must make fun of others who have lost their loved ones “because we are destined for the same fate”.
Mulli chastised politicians who make disparaging statements against the Llomwes, saying Llomwes are Malawians too who have been productive citizens, positively contributing to the social and economic progress of the country.
Representing children of the deceased, Misheck Juma said much as the family is mourning the loss of their father, they thank God for the life of the chief which has had an impact on the family and his subjects at large.
“He was so supportive to us in all aspects of life including support towards education. To others, he was a counselor,” Juma said.
Juma, therefore, appealed to well-wishers to support the bereaved family especially the children with school necessities.
On his part, Clemence Mponda who represented the family (on the paternal side) thanked President Professor Peter Mutharika for providing all the medical support during the time the Paramount Chief was taken ill.
Ngolongoliwa was born Layilo Foster Juma in 1950. He is survived by a wife, 16 children, 41 grandchildren and seven (7) great grandchildren.
He became Village Headman on April 18, 1981 and rose to Group Village Head, Sub T/A, T/A, Senior T/A in 2015 before he became Paramount Chief in 2017.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :