President Lazarus Chakwera is a scared man. With mutiny brewing in his own party and impending by- elections in the Lower Shire, Chakwera had no choice but to dash off to Ngabu to pay last respects to his party’s financier the late Sidik Mia one month after his death.
However, some sectors of the society feel President Chakwera should be ashamed and embarrassed for visiting Mia’s grave almost one month after the Transport Minister succumbed to Covid-19.
Mia together with fellow cabinet colleague Lingson Belekanyama died within hours on 12 January 2021. They were both buried the same day in Ngabu and Lilongwe respectively.
Last week, the High Court in Blantyre nullified Parliamentary elections of Nsanje North, Chikwawa East and Nsanje Central constituencies.
Chakwera visited former president Joyce Banda in Lilongwe last week to condole her on the loss of her son Geoffrey Kachale Banda who also succumbed to Covid-19.
“He is coming here because he has heard about the by elections. Otherwise you can’t take the whole month without visiting your own party vice president who funded your campaign and even paid for your accommodation in Blantyre, it does not make sense,” said one angry MCP supporter at Ngabu in Chikwawa.
“We are eagerly waiting to see on when he will visit Mwalwanda’s and Belekanyama’s resting places,” he added.
President Chakwera came under heavy attack after failing to either attend Mia’s burial ceremony or send a representative.
The late Mia for starters, sacrificed his energy, resources and money to revive MCP political muscle from shameful defeat in opposition for more 26 years, loosing elections after elections.
Only six months into leadership, Mia succumbed to Covid-19 with little rewards of his sweat.
What surprised many was on how the late Mia remains buried without MCP representatives, even Chakwera sending condolence messages to the bereaved family as many expected to announce at the burial ceremony at Ngabu, Chikwawa, home village.
Later an audio went viral communicating to the Muslim community in Malawi as the late Mia’s religion, expressed sadness the way Chakwera and MCP treated the late Mbuya’s remains.
“Immediately after death pronouncement in the morning of Tuesday, January 12, 2021, we spent about three hours at Queens Central Hospital without any MCP or Tonse government officials to be part of Muslim Jhadhi community which handled the whole burial ceremony.”
“We expected traffic police officers to help clearing the road from hospital to the late’s house till home village Ngabu in Chakwera considering that Mia was a senior cabinet minister and MCP Vice President but nothing of that sort happened,” worried a Muslim brother in the audio.
He added, “Our hope was on our way from the late Mia house (Namiwawa, Blantyre) that police traffic officers could come in but nothing of that sort that we had to wait for traffic lights (robots) for minutes with the remains of the senior cabinet minister until I used my vehicle to clear the road till we got here at home village at Ngabu.
“When we arrived at Ngabu for burial later in the evening, we also expected Malawi government and MCP officials to speak at the funeral where we were up to 7 pm but nothing happened when we just head that the head of state was speaking on radio. Did Mia really deserve this despite all his sacrifices to the leadership?”
During the national address following Mia’s address on January 12, Chakwera’s face showed no emotions to signify that he had lost two of his cabinet ministers.