The media fraternity is mourning Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) Chairperson Reverend Patrick Semphere, who died Thursday at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe after succumbing to Covid-19.
Semphere was, in March last year, appointed to lead a new set of commissioners for the next three years.
After MHRC Executive Secretary Habiba Osman confirmed that Semphere had died, tributes started pouring in for the veteran writer, journalist and free media advocate.
Media Council of Malawi (MCM) Chairperson Wisdom Chimgwede and Executive Director Moses Kaufa said the reverend would be remembered for his passion for media professionalism.
“Late Semphere steadfastly steered MCM through turbulent times and in the efforts of the council’s resuscitation. With wisdom and foresight, he forged ever-stronger local and international partnerships for MCM.
“His passing has left a mark in the hearts of many veteran journalists and those still in the media industry who have worked with him as well as those who have felt the impact of his work in a number of ways,” the statement reads.
Until his death, Semphere was a trustee of MCM, after previously serving in its national governing council as chairperson.
Media Institute of Southern Africa-Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga concurred with MCM, saying Semphere dedicated his life to the media and communications sector and worked hard to advocate universal human rights.
“His passion for the media and human rights protection will always be in our hearts,” Ndanga said.
The veteran journalist and writer once served as MCM Chairperson between 2007 and 2014 and served as MHRC commissioner from 2015 to 2018.