- Family wants post-mortem to determine cause of death
Jumani Johansson, a man who claimed to be the son to Malawi’s founding President Hastings Kamuzu Banda, died on Satur
The wife has since suspected foul play.
Confirming the development, the deceased’s close friend and spokesperson Pastor James Mwanyongo said Jumani, who had been staying at his house in Blantyre for the past two weeks, was pronounced dead at Queens in the morning hours of Saturday after a short illness.
The hospital director Dr Andrew Gonani refused to comment, saying they have no mandate to talk about the cause of death for any patient under their management.
He referred the matter to family members.
Jumani’s uncle, John Kaunda, also confirmed the death and said post-mortem was to be conducted.
He said burial arrangements were yet to be made as family members were still consulting.
But in a telephone interview with Nation on Sunday on Saturday, Jumani’s wife Lebogang, who has been with him in Malawi since December, alleged that her husband had not died of natural causes.
While she could not point a finger at anyone, she insisted that she suspects he has been killed.
Since the news of his death broke out on Saturday, social media was awash with all sorts of speculations.
But while describing his death as sudden and shocking, Mwanyongo said he fails to understand how his friend died when he seemed healthy.
“When I left for Chiradzulu on Friday morning for church-related activities, he was okay, without complaining about anything. I got a call in the evening that he was not okay and was rushed to Mtengoumodzi Clinic before going to Mlambe Hospital. From Mlambe, he was referred to Queens around 11 pm and I rushed there where I spent the whole night until around 6 am when we were told he was no more,” he said.
According to Mwanyongo, doctors had spoken of low sugar levels and heart failure, while the family and friends had asked for a post-mortem to establish the cause of death.
“I reported the matter to police and a post-mortem is being conducted after which we can certainly know the cause of death. I do not suspect foul play. He usually stayed home; he could drive in town and come back. When I last saw him, he looked fine. Maybe that’s why others are talking of witchcraft,” he said.
Jumani made healines in 2010 when he claimed that he was Kamuzu’s son and filed for change of name from Jim Jumani Johansson to Jim Jumani Immanuel Masauko Kamuzu Banda. This put him at loggerheads with the Kamuzu family which has always maintained the founding father had no child.
His claim also sparked a frenzy in Malawi, with a number of people saying he could have been a legitimate son of the fallen president while others dismissed him as a gold-digger out to inherit Kamuzu’s wealth.
Among those who dismissed this claim was Jumani’s biological mother, Mirriam Kaunda-Johansson, Miss Malawi 1976.
Kaunda claimed Jumani’s father was Muhammad Jogee, a Malawian of Indian descent and a chartered accountant who moved to England years ago.
Jumani was deported in 2011 during President Bingu wa Mutharika’s rule.
On Facebook, Jumani continued to claim that he was Kamuzu’s son and that he was coming back home to prove his case through a DNA test.
According to his wife, Jumani returned in November in search of truth about his paternity and to settle where he believed to be the home of his father—Kasungu.
On his second homecoming, Jumani made his first public appearance in Kasungu where he attended the funeral of a son to late Reverend Hannock Msokera Phiri, a distant uncle of Kamuzu Banda.
Mwanyongo said Jumani had also been to Kasungu and was planning to meet chiefs this coming week.
“We were planning to go again to Kasungu to meet the chiefs and explain his story. The meeting was to take place next week on a date that was to be communicated by the chiefs, unfortunately death has stood in the way,” he added.
His wife, a mother of four-month-old Cecelia, said it was sad that Jumani died in search of the truth which he never discovered.
“He really wanted to be with his family. He wanted to know his roots. Our plan was to settle in Kasungu where the father came from. But with this…I do not know if the truth will ever be known. If you ask me…after this what next I am not sure maybe I will go back home (South Africa) because who do I stay with when my husband was never successful in identifying his family,” she explained. n