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Malawi’s first female cabinet minister, Rose Chibambo is dead

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Rose Lomathinda Chibambo nee Ziba – Independence fighter, First female cabinet minister, First and only woman in Nyasaland African Congress executive, Founder and leader of Women’s League, First MP for Mzimba South, philanthropist, church elder, mother and a role model to many – ceased being a living legend this morning at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in Blantyre.

Kamuzu Chibambo, president of the People’s Transformation Party (Petra) and Rose Chibambo’s nephew confirmed her passing in a phone call on Tuesday morning.

Rose was born on 8 September 1928 and was an influential figure in the independence struggle of British Protectorate of Nyasaland.

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She was also a high ranking politician in the inaugural black led government around Independence in the early 60s. She was the Deputy Minister for Hospitals, Prisons and Social Welfare and was later to fall out of favour with Kamuzu Banda and was thrown in jail in 1959, a day before she gave birth to her fifth child, Gadi.

Chibambo was christened as a Political Veteran by the Livimgstonia Synod in 2006 and recocognised by the Mzimba Heritage Association in 2008 and in 2009 late President Bingu wa Mutharika bestowed upon her the Grand Achiever of the Malawi Order of Achievement accolade – Mutharika, also named a street in Mzuzu after her viz “Rose Chibambo Crescent”.

Chibambo studied Adult and General Education in Britain and had six children Roy, Royce, Malibase, Khataza, Gadi and Phumile.

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