The year 2010 could not have ended on a more tragic note for the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s media fraternity. Death struck hours before the New Year as veteran journalist Tony Mita breathed his last on Friday evening at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in Blantyre where he was taken earlier in the day. He was 62.
His death has shocked the media fraternity. Misa Malawi acting chairperson Anthony Kasunda said the media is again deprived of the skills and knowledge of another veteran journalist.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The media fraternity is again shocked with his death. It is a sad ending to 2010 because just on Monday we lost veteran journalist Jika Nkolokosa. Both were senior members of the media profession.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“These are the people we could have been turning to because of their advanced knowledge in the profession. We are shocked with his death because we did not hear about his illness,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Kasunda.
MitaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nephew Francis Mbilizi said the family has lost their pillar of strength and inspiration.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He used to keep the family together as one unit. Some of us have known people related to us through him. His death is devastating because we did not expect it to happen so quickly. Even [on Friday] he was talking and chatting with us. His death is sudden,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mbilizi.
He added that Mita succumbed to a sudden bout of diabetes.
Mbilizi said Mita has been known as a journalist, having started his career as a young person and risen to various senior positions in government including that of chief information officer and principal secretary of various departments including Information.
He retired from the civil service about 10 years ago and briefly worked for Capital Radio before joining Joy Radio where he was a deputy board chairperson until his death. He was also lecturing at the Malawi Institute of Journalism, according to Mbilizi.
Mita is survived by his wife Nalyss, three children (Cheulekene,Tendai and Khama) and a grandchild. Cheulekene is currently the section head for this paper (Nation on Sunday).
Burial will take place on Monday but the programme was not yet confirmed as we went to press.
Mita came from Mkwita Village in T/A Mpama, Chiradzulu.