The Malawi media fraternity had a rude awakening yesterday following news of the death of veteran journalist Limbani Moya.
According to the deceased’s wife Ellen Kanjira, Moya, who worked in different media institutions in the country, died around noon at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in Blantyre. He had a kidney problem since 2012.
Reacting to the news last evening, Media Council of Malawi chairperson Wisdom Chimgwede described Moya’s death as untimely and a blow to the media fraternity and the country as a whole.
He said Moya, a former Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra), Nation Publications Limited (NPL), Times Group and Malawi News Agency employee, was a man whose name is among the few who defined investigative journalism.
Said Chimgwede: “Very untimely loss happening at a time when we need experience that should define where our journalism should be going. We’ll miss Agent Zero.”
Macra director of broadcasting Fegus Lipenga also expressed shock at the death of Moya, who until his passing was broadcasting monitoring officer at the institution.
He said: “He contributed quite a lot because when he joined, the quality of the analysis completely changed because of his background in journalism. To us, this is a great loss.”
NPL chief executive officer Mbumba Banda described Moya as a pacesetter who was among the first journalists to join NPL in 1993 when it was starting.
She said Moya’s contribution was significant because the country was coming into the multiparty era and that he set a pace in terms of working professionally.
Said Banda: “Other journalists, who came in after him, learnt a lot from him. He was a pacesetter, a person who set a standard. In terms of character, he was the kind of person who was very open and willing to share and teach.
“He is one of the pioneers of the journalism in the multiparty era. He leaves a gap in the profession [because] people like him with expertise and experience, still had a lot to offer to younger upcoming journalists.”
In his reaction, Anthony Kasunda, who was chairperson of the Friends of Limbani, a team that was set up to raise funds for the deceased’s trip to India for a kidney transplant, described his death as “devastating” as the committee tried what it could do to save his life.
Moya, who is survived by a wife and four children, first flew to India in 2014 for a kidney transplant after the initiative raised about K10 million.
According to his wife, Moya was rushed to Mwaiwathu Private Hospital on April 12 after landing at Chileka International Airport from India where he went for a second kidney transplant.
Moya was born on August 28 1968. He will be buried this afternoon at Henry Henderson Institute Cemetery in Blantyre.