APM no show to bid farewell to his party NGC member and friend
President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s decision to pay his last respect to the fallen former Finance Minister who until his death on Wednesday was the vice president of Northern region for the Democratic Progressive Party is a statement that it is possible for people with different political affiliations to coexist when it matters most.
This far, we can certainly say that President Chakwera has overachieved what his predecessors failed. Chakwera is not your typical leader who politicises everything. Over the course of three years he has been in power, he has demonstrated that there are things that trascends politics
Most of that has been seen in the way he has been treating people of different political parties when they have died. Not once but a number of times, President Chakwera has instructed the government to accord distinguished sons and daughters of the land who made different contributions to the country regardless of their affiliations.
This far I can say I have lost count as to how many people from the opposition have been buried with military honours on instruction of President Chakwera, but those that comes to mind include Former First Lady Anne Muluzi, Former Vice President Justine Malewezi, late Joseph Kubwalo who served as a Cabinet Minister during Bakili Muluzi administration and just last week Peter Fatchi another stewart of Muluzi administration was laid to rest with military honours.
To show that what he has been doing was not a one off thing, President Chakwera has continued his gesture to the fallen former Minister of Finance and reknowned economist Goodall Gondwe.
President Chakwera did not only want to give Gondwe the military honours but he had to go to Gondwe’s residence in Area 10 not only to give his last respect but to also mourn together with the rest of Malawians.
President Chakwera’s gesture has earned him plaudits from political commentators and ordinary citizens alike.
Speaking on the matter, governance expert George Chaima said President Chakwera decision to accord state funeral to Gondwe demonstrate true leadership that rise above party politics.
He said: “Looking at the leadership style of President Chakwera, we see leadership which demonstrates true leadership. By granting military honours to Goodall Gondwe he has shown that he treats everyone in equal measure.”
On his part Undule Mwakasungula said President Chakwera’s action on Gondwe has demonstrated that he does not toe political lines when it comes to matters of national importance.
“The gesture by the President is Godly and teaches us that he is above cheap partisan politics and that is what leadership is all about.What the President has shown is something the country must build on in the future,” said Mwakasungula.
Indeed what President Chakwera is doing was unheard of in the past 26 years before he rose to power. During that time, such honours were granted to those who belonged to the ruling parties and the Malawi Congress Party figure were always at the receiving end.
Meanwhile as Chakwera was paying his last respect, former President Mutharika who was a close friend of Gondwe was nowhere in sight and knowing him it is highly likely that he may even not go to Mzimba for his burial.