By Isaac Salima & Rebecca Chimjeka
Former Cabinet minister and member of Parliament for Kasungu Central, Elia Chinguwo Katola Phiri, has died after a long battle with gout.
Family spokesperson Ezra Sosola confirmed the development, saying Katola Phiri, who was 64, died Tuesday at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe.
The burial arrangement will be communicated later.
In 1959, Katola Phiri was, together with the country’s first president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, arrested during the fight for the country’s independence.
Among Cabinet portfolios, Katola Phiri served as Minister of Community Services, Labour, Local Government, Trade and Industry as well as minister of Natural Resources.
He served as legislator for Kasungu Central from 1964 to 1994.
He is survived by a wife, 10 children and 24 grandchildren.
In another development, the government announced yesterday that one of the country’s renowned public servants Charles Msosa, who until his death was Malawi’s ambassador to Ethiopia, had died.
According to messages that flooded social media, fellow ambassadors and the citizenry expressed shock over Msosa’s death.
A statement which the Office of the President and Cabinet released, signed by Deputy Secretary to the President and Cabinet Janet Banda, indicated that Msosa died on Monday evening at Nordic Medical Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“Details of funeral arrangements are expected to be announced in due course,” Banda said in the statement.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson John Kabaghe also confirmed the development.
Msosa was once the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malawi to the United Nations.