PP condemned for ‘degrading’ politicization of Judge Manyungwa’s funeral – Chief

Traditional Authority (T/A) Bvumbwe of Thyolo on Sunday condemned ruling People’s Party (PP) for  distributing  party T-shirts to mourners at the funeral of of High Court Judge Joseph Manyungwa, saying it degraded the departed judge.

Chief Bvumbwe told President Joyce Banda during the burial ceremony that the distribution of the party memorabilia was degrading act from the PP.

“[Madam President] I want to say what has happened here. Your boys were distributing T-shirts. This is bad and degrading. It should never happen again. This should never happen again, if you want, hold a rally and distribute the T-shirts there,” the youthful traditional leader said.

According to The Nation, as T/A Bvumbwe made his speech, the President was seen nodding in agreement whereas PP regional director of youth (South) Lemani Chapitapansi, who was involved in the distribution of the T-shirts even to the local grave diggers, cast his face down.

Newly retired chief justice Lovemore Munlo (R) and other judges carry Manyungwa's casket on his last mile
Newly retired chief justice Lovemore Munlo (R) and other judges carry Manyungwa’s casket on his last mileM

Most mourners supported the chief’s statement and they clapped hands for him.

Bvumbwe said he was saddened by the development and cautioned party officials to refrain from politicizing funerals.

A representative of the bereaved family, Erick Chidumayo saying that it was inhumane to use their loss to gain political milestone.

DPP officials who attended the funeral included the controversial Southern Region governor Noel Masangwi and the party’s publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi reportedly  received chants of ‘Boma! Boma! Boma!’ and hand-clapping when the director of ceremonies called themo lay their wreaths on Manyungwa’s grave. The President had left.

In his eulogy, Minister of Justice Ralph  Kasambara said  the Judiciary has lost “a charming judge “ who would joke with anyone in the corridors at the High Court.

Justice John Katsala described the loss of the late Justice Manyungwa as a great shock to the Judiciary as they did not receive any reports of his sickness and said the loss will impact the already constrained system which is struggling with lack of judges.

Manyungwa is survived by wife and four children who President Dr Joyce Banda has given K1 million for their education.

Justice Joseph Manyungwa was born on 14 April 1967 and did his law degree at Chancellor College before working for some private law firms and the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary in the capacities of Senior Deputy Registrar and later Judge of the High Court in 2004.

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