Politicians of all political persuasions and mourners from all walks of life yesterday bade farewell to veteran politician Gwanda Chakuamba who was laid to rest at his home Chinyanje Village in Traditional Authority Mlolo in Nsanje.
Chakuamba, 82, died at Blantyre Adventist Hospital (BAH) in Blantyre on Monday after a long illness.
Amid sweltering heat, hundreds of people thronged Chinyanje Village to pay their last respects to the departed former leader of Mgwirizano Coalition, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Republican Party and New Republican Party.
Even when rain showers, that lasted less than 10minutes, started to trickle two hours into the funeral ceremony, no one moved an inch, but to witness the final journey of Chakuamba which was conferred a full military honour at his residence, Zuwere Castle.
When the time to pay last respects came, hundreds thronged the house to see Chakuamba’s face for the last time.
T/A Malemia who spoke on behalf of T/A Mlolo said they are celebrating that they produced a man like Chakuamba who has left a legacy that will decorate the political story of Malawi.
While Paramount chief Lundu hailed Chakuamba for his patriotism.
On his part, guest speaker, George Chaponda, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, who represented President Peter Mutharika said government in is in shock that they tried to save Chakuamba’s life by sending him for specialists doctors in India, but failed.
“There are lessons to learn from Chakuamba’s political journey and the statement of who he was, is obvious today. There are different political parties here bidding him farewell. This is the way we should live. From the stories told here, Chakuamba had no enemy and kept no grudges and promoted unity and development,” said Chaponda.
On behalf of MCP, which Chakuamba served for some time as Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Lazarus Chakwera said: “We have to learn from Chakuamba that we should not live with enemies.”
Chakwera described Chakuamba as a freedom fighter, mentor and a spiritual man gone with no regrets.
The ceremony was graced by several political heavyweights including former president Bakili Muluzi, Brown Mpinganjira, Sidik Mia, Kamlepo Kalua, Nicholas Dausi, Harry Thomson, Bazuka Mhango, leaders of MCP, United Democratic Front (UDF) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).