By Yohane Symon
Atonde, Chikomingo, Chititiri, Mpalamamba, Cheponde Ng’ombe were some of the names which former second deputy speaker of Parliament Clement Chiwaya was fondly called by his supporters.
All these names, which are derived from Yao, signify a strong character which Chiwaya was; a strong character robbed by death.
Yesterday afternoon, these names could be heard in wailings as people from Mangochi Central Constituency and beyond paid their last respect to the departed former legislator at his home in Mangochi.
People of races, ages and statuses could no longer hold their tears at the sight of the casket bearing the remains of Chiwaya.
Chiwaya’s daughter Bhubile gave a touching eulogy that made majority of people who gathered at Mangochi Stadium burst into tears.
“Dad you told us to be strong and be determined in whatever we do despite the challenges we face every day. Your death has proved to us the determination which you believed in regardless of circumstances we face,” she said.
The other eulogies delivered at the ceremony revealed that Chiwaya touched many souls through his numerous charity works even after quitting active politics in 2019 when he decided to not vie again for the position of MP for Mangochi Central.
“He was supporting a lot of people who were reaching out to him. He was assisting people without looking at where they are coming from. This day is sad for all the people who depended on him,” Traditional Authority Mponda of Mangoch said.
Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara described Chiwaya as a selfless person who was determined in whatever he did.
“His contributions to the National Assembly are commendable and are there for everybody to appreciate. He was a man who only spoke when he had something to say,” Hara said.
As a politician, Chiwaya served in Parliament for three consecutive terms ending 2019.
According to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president for the Eastern Region Bright Msaka, Chiwaya was instrumental in cementing the relationship between DPP and United Democratic Front (UDF).
“He believed in unity for people in the country, that is why he always wanted DPP and UDF to work together. We have lost a political pillar for the Eastern Region,” Msaka said.
Without specifically touching on the circumstances surrounding the death of Chiwaya, UDF president Atupele Muluzi asked government officials in the country to start doing their job professionally to avoid what happened to Chiwaya.
Muluzi said there are a lot of government officers who are not doing their jobs properly, thereby victimising innocent Malawians who need government services.
“There is no love in this country. Let us learn to love each other so that we can all live in harmony. There is a lot of hate in this country. We hate each other a lot; that is why we are not assisting each other,” Muluzi said without elaborating.
At 16:33, Chiwaya’s body was lowered into his final resting place at Ngowi Village, Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi, marking the end of his 17-year political journey.
Chiwaya reportedly shot himself in the head at Parliament Building Thursday morning.
He is survived by a wife and six children.
Among the notable people who attended the funeral ceremony include former first lady Gertrude Mutharika, Everton Chimulirenji, Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa, Former first deputy speaker of Parliament Esther Mcheka Chilenje and Malawi Congress Party Deputy Secretary General Gerald Kazembe.