By Tiyese Monjeza:
A sombre mood engulfed the atmosphere at My Place Lodge in Zomba City, where multitudes gathered to pay their last respects and bid farewell to University of Malawi (Unima) Professor of Economics Ben Kalua, who died on Sunday after a short illness at Mwaiwathu Hospital.
Even comforting hymns from Living World Evangelist Church, which Apostle David Mbewe leads, could do nothing to comfort relatives, well-wishers and members of the academia.
Kalua’s son Sosten described his father as a kind and humble man who was open to contrasting views.
“My father was a principled man who stood for the truth. He would offer advice to everyone who approached him. He taught us to trust in God and always lead exemplary and humble lives. We shall always miss him,” Sosten said.
Unima Vice-Chancellor Samison Sajidu said the college was at a loss of words after losing a passionate and committed professor of economics.
“He has helped in grooming many economists in the country and his contribution to the society cannot be underrated. I remember that, when he retired in 2013, the university recalled him due to his expertise,” Sajidu said.
Reserve Bank of Malawi Director of Regulations Patrick Mhango said Kalua was one of the people that helped the nation whenever it was developing fiscal, monetary and other economic policies.
For Senior Chief Mlumbe, Kalua will be remembered as a humble man who suited every environment.
“Despite his academic status, he used to participate in community activities in his area. He was like any other person. “He was approachable and freely mixed with the locals. I hope his life has taught us to treat others with respect always,” Mlumbe said.
Kalua was born on February 15 1953.
He obtained a Bachelor of Social Science from Unima in 1976 and was, the same year, employed as an assistant lecturer.
He got a Master of Economy in 1979 at the University of Anglia in England, the United Kingdom, before attaining a PhD in economics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1986 the Commonwealth scholarship.
He was promoted to the teaching position of professor in 1995.