Wife to former vice-president Cassim Chilumpha, Khalida Chilumpha, died yesterday in Blantyre after a short illness.
Nephew to the former VP, Alick Mwale, confirmed in an interview that Khalida, 57, died at Blantyre Adventist Hospital (BAH) just after midnight.
She was buried yesterday as per Islamic rituals at her home Vinjenje Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Malengachanzi in Nkhotakota District.
Chilumpha served as the country’s vice-president between 2004 and 2009. He had an estranged relationship with his boss, president Bingu wa Mutharika.
Meanwhile, the Chilumpha family has expressed gratitude to President Peter Mutharika for government’s support rendered since Khalida’s hospitalisation last week.
Said Mwale: “We are really grateful to government through the Office of the President and Cabinet [OPC] for the untiring support throughout the admission of our family member.”
Yesterday, newly appointed Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi, who is also the official government spokesperson but is yet to take his ministerial oath of office, paid tribute to Khalida, saying: “We sincerely send our [government’s] deepest sympathy for the loss of the former vice-president’s wife, a mother and a colleague. May the good Lord comfort him during this trying moment.”
Chilumpha, a lawyer, joined politics in the early 1990s and served in various Cabinet portfolios between 1994 and 2004 under the regime of former president Bakili Muluzi.
He became Malawi’s vice-president in June 2004 under Bingu wa Mutharika before he was sidelined on the basis that he had “constructively resigned”.
On April 28 2006, the Bingu wa Mutharika administration arrested him for alleged treason when he was accused of conspiring with politicians Yusuf Matumula and Rashid Nembo to assassinate the then president. n