Nyondo kinsmen call for respect of culture in Malawi: Controversy over burial

The burying of the president of the National Salvation Front (Nasaf) party James Mbowe Nyondo in Lilongwe has brought about some controversy as it is not clear as who ordered that burial should take place in Area 18 cemetery in Lilongwe since it has transpired that his kinsmen and traditional leaders were not amused with the arrangement.

Nyondo's children (From left to right) Munthusi,Muliska, and Pamela

Nyondo’s children (From left to right) Munthusi,Muliska, and Pamela

First to make it known that the family members were not party to the decision was the clan’s spokesperson who was identified as late James’ brother and hinted on the onset that he would not mince words on the issue around his brother’s final resting place.

He spent sometime lecturing the nation that sometimes when funerals befall a family it is wise to hold a vigil for a longer period to give room for a wider consultation and proper arrangement.

The clan spokesperson appreciated the tradition of Nigerians and other nations that keep the deceased body even for three months so that all matters are tackled including the traditional aspect, which gives them an opportunity to make inclusive decisions and faultless arrangements.

“Unlike here in Malawi where the dead are buried in the shortest time possible, our friends elsewhere give themselves ample time before they bury their relation which allows for minds to sober up and consult appropriately otherwise you end up burying people at places where they could have not been buried had patience been practiced,” bemourned the brother.

While thanking all who made it to the funeral and supported in various ways, the brother emphasized that he could not hide the disappointment of many relatives that James was buried away from his people and home.

But James’ widow Lucani, who took sometime to narrate the adult life of the deceased especially about his spiritual and family life, played down the issue saying her husband had hinted that he would never mind about his final resting place.

In her touching speech, the wife said that what was necessary was for the living to embrace a truthful life like the one James followed so that at the end of it all they should meet in God’s glory.

However her solace was short-lived as Chief Mwaulabo emphasized that the people in Chitipa were greatly disappointed with the arrangement saying everyone living in Lilongwe had a home village where that person was supposed to be taken to when dead.

“Lilongwe is a commercial city. We Malawians should remember to honour cultures and don’t come home only when you are in problems. We also need you, even your remains, so such things should be avoided at all times,” he hinted.

Reverend Nyondo, who was asked to speak on behalf of the Livingstonia Synod,  said that he could not fail to recognize what James’ brother and the chief had eluded to because it was no secret that people in his home district expected his remains to be taken to his home.

He observed that without culture, the nation is dead and therefore called upon the bereaved family to make sure that they also go home to mourn James because they had just done one part.

While thanking James’ widow for the role she played in the life of James the outspoken CCAP minister advised her to complete the good work by going to her husband’s home to complete the mourning rituals.

“Without culture we are dead, so I would remind all the bereaved members that part B is remaining, otherwise no one can can exist without a village.

“To the wife I say that one assignment is remaining; come to the Chinunkha,” he said.

The other people who spoke at the funera l-George Mnensa- representing 2014 presidential candidates, Mr. Phillip, the deceased father in law, chairperson of the Centre of Multiparty Democracy, government representative Kondwani Nakhumwa, Reverend Chidawati of the Public Affairs Committee, Nasaf secretary general, did not comment on the burial place issue.

The church service was conducted by the Chrch of Christ where the selfless Nyondo congregated, but there were represented of nearly all faith community like Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe, CCAP Nkhoma Synod general secretary.

The funeral service was also attended by people from all walks of life that included cabinet ministers, members of parliament, former state vice president Khumbo Kachali, Petra president, PPM president, Speaker of the National Assembly, Leader of Opposition in Malawi parliament, the business community, and politicians from different parties.

Missing was the country’s citizen number and two, Peter Mutharika and Saulos Chilima, respectively, who could have been embarrassed with the sentiments as the government  met some of the costs of the funeral costs and certain quarters think that the government might have bulldozed the programe.

James contested as a presidential and parliamentary candidate in the May 2014 tripartite elections as a presidential candidate for Nasfa a party he founded, and member of Chitipa central while in 2009 he stood as an independent presidential candidate.

Survived by wife and three children – daughter Pamela and sons Mulisya and Mtusi, Nyondo was known for radical political ideologies and was critical of leaders who neglected the welfare of the poor.

The US trained lawyer, a believer and development worker was born on 14 May 1968 in Chitipa,  and drew the respect of many because of his ideologies.

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Late Bingu displayed total ungratefulness and selfishness to Bakili Muluzi who handpicked him to be presidential candidate for UDF way back in 2004.Thereafter Bakili was always at either hospitals or courts.Was a late Bingu a Tumbuka? Muluzi pamene amanena kuti a ” A Malawi amayiwala nsanga amanena a Malawi ake ngati inuyo a Mtomboka, noisy for nothing”


Leave APM and the VEEP out of this! How can the govt make a decision for the clan? Was it wrong for the govt to assist? Mutha ngati wina wake if u senselessly blame the the govt. That is hate. And haters die prematurely. Why hate the God chosen?

chitipa Bulls
Take this point. Nyondo might have been born in Chitipa but he hardly was going to Chitipa. The problem was his father who did not show his children their original. home James’s father, was a medical assistant and when Nyono was selected to Dedza secondary the father was working at Nambuma Mission health centre and during holidays James was staying at Area 18 with relatives. So James was better buried in Lilingwe a place he did not know much. James was a Lilongwe person not Chitipa and these Chitipa people should stop making noise. When Nyongo was hoing to second… Read more »

Avoid comparing Jando and Nsondo ndi zachitumbuka zanuzo be it funeral or otherwise. Mzimaiyo waisewera bwino. Nkhani ndi yofuna chuma kapena CHOKOLO.


chonde osanyozana. one ndi chewa nkazi wanga tumbuka. we love each other. I don’t see any reason yonyoza ena. amaipa ndi munthu osati tribe.


I don’t know why this should be news! A kubanja ndi amene amakoza dongosolo la mwambo wa maliro, ndi ndani angalamule kumene munthu angayikidwe koposa abale ake! Za pamtundu pawo izi, ngati sanamvane okha ife asativutitse ndi kuganiza kapena kutiyambanitsa. Amfumu ayankhula choncho chifukwa akubanja anasankha kuika maliro ku Lilongwe.


place where one is buried speaks alittle less


atumbuka sitizathekanso basi. ndipo mtundu uwu! mmmmxxxxiiiiiim kaya ine ndinakhalilanji zimenezi.

kunena mosapyatila
Dr matamula & your half intellectually and cultured friends. A point of correction, Rev Nyondo was not speaking on behalf of Livingstonstonia Synod but in the stead of the people of Chitipa District and the Chinunkha area where most Nyondos are based. To be specific he stood on behalf of the Nyondo clan. Some of you who are spitting nonsense should not take this funeral for granted. This funeral is not Chizangala kapena jando or nsondo. Reserve your tribalistic comments on other topics not this one. Instead of wasting your energy & money on castigating northerners, reserve them for sourcing… Read more »
Beatrice ukunama. Is Chitipa not in Malawi? Anthu azikaikidwa ku Marka ku Nsanje from Mzuzu. I agree with the likes of Wakodza Pogona. Mtundu uwu wathimbilira udyo. It reminds me what a certain lady said a week ago in Zomba, when her waitress who works for her said she comes from Chitimba. The lady said in Chichewa “anthu awa ndiosayamika. Ungawachitire chabwino chomwe iwo amadziwa ndikubweza mwano basi” As if this was not enough, a certain man who is married there said the same kuti “Mtundu uwu siuyamika ayi” Surely, there should be a certain unique gene in those that… Read more »

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