President Lazarus Chakwera, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and family members have expressed shock at the death of Roseby Dinala, popularly known Mayi Dinala, who died at Blantyre Adventist Hospital yesterday.
Dinala, who died three days after celebrating her 82nd birthday on Saturday, was an MCP diehard since Malawi got its independence in 1964.
Chakwera, through his executive assistant and spokesperson Sean Kampondeni, said he was saddened by Dinala’s death.
Said Kampondeni: “He [Chakwera] grieves her passing, but celebrates the life she lived. The President is grateful that before her passing, she got to see her dream fulfilled, the ushering in of the new Malawi which she fought for all her life.
“She was a custodian of history and culture in Malawian society as well as a pillar and foundation of the Malawi Congress Party.”
He observed that Dinala’s death is a big loss to the family, MCP and the country as a whole, saying the deceased fought a gallant fight for the country’s freedom.
When The Nation visited the deceased residence in Chitawira Township in Blantyre on Tuesday, the mood was sombre. Some women in MCP regalia were seen shedding tears while others sang songs of comfort.
Dinala’s nephew Gerald Lobeni, speaking on behalf of the family, described the death as shocking and a big blow to the family.
He said: “She was not ill until Monday when she collapsed at her house. She was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital where she was treated as an outpatient.
“But on Tuesday morning, she looked unwell and was taken to Blantyre Adventist Hospital where she was pronounced dead.”
Lobeni said Dinala was Lali Lubani’s niece, one of the first ministers during the Kamuzu Banda regime.
On his part, MCP director of research Moses Kunkuyu hailed Dinala’s loyalty to the party, saying she remained an MCP supporter through the years.
According to Lobeni, there will be a funeral service at Chitawira Ground Wednesday at noon before the burial at Chitawira Cemetery.
Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi last evening issued a statemenet announcing that Chakwera will attend the funeral.
Dinala was from Mbulumbuzi in Chiradzulu. She was born on August 8 1937 and is survived by four daughters, three sons and grandchildren.