Former Cabinet minister and diplomat Joseph Kubwalo died on Wednesday evening and will be laid to rest in Blantyre tomorrow, his family has announced.
Kubwalo, who served in former president Bakili Muluzi’s first multiparty Cabinet appointed in 1994, died at Blantyre Adventist Hospital after a long illness.
A statement signed by Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Llyod Muhara said President Peter Mutharika has directed that Kubwalo be buried with full military honours as a former Cabinet member and delegated Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa to represent government at the burial ceremony near Chirimba Industrial Area in Blantyre.
Kubwalo’s body will be collected from College of Medicine morgue at 1pm today and a funeral service is scheduled to start at noon tomorrow.
Yesterday, Muluzi mourned Kubwalo, describing him as one of the pioneers of democracy. He said death has robbed the nation of a great son of Malawi.
During Muluzi’s first term from 1994 to 1999, Kubwalo served as United Democratic Front (UDF) Blantyre City West legislator nd minister of Defence. He was later appointed High Commissioner to Tanzania.
While working for the Department of Information, Kubwalo served as photographer for founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda, according to his mentor Dick Mlazie.
Mourning his long-time friend, Mlazie said he became friends with Kubwalo in 1957 before they met at the Department of Information.
Kusali, one of the deceased’s daughters, said her father was born on September 17 1938 and joined the civil service in 1958 before retiring in 1992 to join UDF. He is survived by a wife and six children.