Hundreds of people of various socio-political nature will converge on Henry Henderson Institute (HHI) Cemetery in Blantyre to bid farewell to Supreme Court Justice Maxon Mbendera, chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) who died on Thursday in Lilongwe and will be buried this afternoon.
Mbendera’s sudden death shocked people in Malawi, particularly as it came after he was reportedly in good health earlier on Thursday morning, when he undertook a scheduled meeting with Auditor General Stevenson Kamphasa at the National Audit Office (NAO) in Lilongwe.
But the former judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal suddenly fell ill at around 11am, when he was rushed to City Centre Clinic, where he was pronounced dead soon after his admission there, according to a WhatsApp note from MEC director of communication Sangwani Mwafulirwa.
Family members yesterday told Weekend Nation that Mbendera’s body was kept overnight at Daeyang Hospital mortuary in Lilongwe.
Before departing Lilongwe for Blantyre yesterday, there was a funeral service at Rejoice Church, in Area 36 Township.
The social media has been awash with odes to Mbendera.
One such moving testimony is that by the Malawi Ambassador to the United Nations Lot Dzonzi, who said Mbendera had shown outstanding love and support to him by giving him clothes at Chancellor College in Zomba in 1980, when the deceased noticed that Dzonzi had pitched up for his first-year university education without decent clothes.
President Peter Mutharika and First Lady Gertrude Mutharika said they had learnt of Mbendera’s passing with “great shock and sadness,” and they called upon all Malawians to join hands in mourning “this great son of Malawi.”
In its statement signed jointly by Malawi Law Society (MLS) president John Suzi-Banda and honorary secretary Khumbo Soko, the institution expressed shock and sadness that, in Mbendera, the nation had lost an experienced and illustrious professional. n