Scores of people descended on Chigodi on the ouskirts of Blantyre yesterday to pay their last respects to former Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, who was buried with full military honours.
High Court judges and justices of Appeal, led by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, came out in large numbers to bid farewell to their fallen colleague.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Titus Mvalo represented President Lazarus Chakwera while Brigadier General Vincent Moyo, who is 93 Brigade Commander, represented Commander General Vincent Nundwe.
Munlo died at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital Thursday, just over a week after the death of his brother Mbuya Isaac Munlo, a former Ministry of Foreign Affairs principal secretary, at the same hospital.
Chakwera ordered that the former Chief Justice be buried with full military honours, a rare feat accorded to uniformed military persons or, at the pleasure of the President, to private individuals who have served their nation diligently.
In his eulogy, Nyirenda said Munlo had a long and illustrious career prior to his appointment as Chief Justice, serving with remarkable distinction in various high profile positions both locally and internationally.
He said: “He goes as a friend, wonderful colleague and a truly fallen hero. Our nation has lost a true and distinguished son of the soil.”
On his part, Mvalo described Munlo as an iconic person who provided excellent services beyond his profession.
Blantyre Synod General Secretary, Billy Gama described Munlo as a person who put God first and served God in many ways.
During his career, Munlo served as minister of Justice and attorney general in 1993 and 1994, a time when the country was transitioning into a democracy after Malawians voted against the then one-party regime of Malawi Congress Party.
He also worked as deputy minister of External Affairs (1992 to 1993); High Court judge (1990 to 1992); director of public prosecutions (1984 to 1987); senior State advocate (1980 to 1984); and State advocate (1976 to 1980). He was appointed Chief Justice in 2008, and served in that capacity until 2013.
Among other international positions, Munlo worked as registrar at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda until 2007.
Munlo obtained an honours in Law from the University of Malawi and a master of Law from the University of London in 1989.
He was 71.