Veteran activist Chakumodzi laid to rest

Scores of Malawians and people of other nationalities on Friday converged at St Pius Catholic cemetery in Blantyre to pay their last respects to one of the country’s veteran human rights defenders, Jarvis Chakumodzi.

Chakumodzi passed away on Thursday morning at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, according to Kachere Khumalo, Executive Director of The Samaritan Trust, an NGO which the deceased founded in 1993.

Tributes

Condolence messages, particularly from fellow human rights activists, have been pouring from all sectors to mark the spick and span life of the late Chakumodzi also a former executive secretary for the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS).

“It’s sad to hear of the death of Jarvis. We pray for family comfort in this trying times,” Undule Mwakasungula, Executive Director of Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and chairperson of the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) said.

Also sending her condolence message was executive director of National Women’s Lobby & Rights Group, Faustus Chirwa who said: “Our long time human rights defender! May his soul rest in peace.”

In his message posted on the civil society forum, Kent Mphepo, executive director of The Story Workshop, said “a great man is gone but we rejoice in the labours of his hand.”

Fact file

Late Chakumodzi was the founder of The Samaritan Trust (TST) is a Malawian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which was established in 1993 to promote street children’s rights.

From feeding street children from tents, TST has grown into two centres I Blantyre (at Bangwe and Green Corner along the Chikwawa road) which provide food, clothing and shelter and also provides basic education and vocational skills training in, among others, welding, carpentry, bricklaying and bicycle maintenance to boys and girls.

Apart from his human rights activism, late Chakumodzi, who Dr Agnes Chimbiri, the UNDP Assistant Country Representative for Malawi, said deserved an award for his outstanding service to the country’s needy children, also worked for the state broadcaster, MBC, and was also once Chairperson of the council’s NGO Board, among other jobs.

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