Written by JENNY NDHLOBVU
LILONGWE--Malawi Vice President Khumbo Kachali on Friday paid tribute to Timon Sam Mngwazu who passed away recently, calling him a great nationalist and well-known figure in Malawi’s history.
The late Mangwazu was one of the first five ambassadors chosen by Pres Kamuzu Banda to represent Malawi in the foreign service and served in various capacities starting from Ambassador to West Germany, the US and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, South Africa, the UK and Belgium.
Ambassador Mangwazu died Wednesday, October 17 at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe after suffering from high blood pressure following complications of low blood sugar, according to a family member.
Kachali gave a brief eulogy at the burial ceremony at Chipwaila Village, Traditional Authority Mwase in Kasungu where the mammoth crowd included members of different political parties including the PP, MCP and the DPP attended.
Kachali said that the passing on of Mangwazu was a greater loss to government than it was to his family and the people of Kasungu.
“Through the death of Mangwazu, government has lost more than has done to his family because he was source of wisdom to us in government,” Kachali said.
Ambassador Mangwazu’s diplomatic career spanned from 1964 to 1989 and was the longest serving ambassador among the first five ambassadors.
Among the dignitaries attending late Mangazu’s burial were Member of Parliament for the area Honorable Ken Kandodo who is also the country’s Defence Minister, Minister of Youth and Sports Enock Chihana, former Government Hostess for the late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Mama Cecelia Tamanda Kadzamira, Mr. Nyemba Wales Mbekeani (another of the first five ambassadors/high commissioners – Mbekeani was posted as High Commissioner to the UK), members of the ruling People’s Party (PP), chiefs and government officials, among others. As a mark of honor, the laying of wreaths ceremony was led by His Honor the VP Kachali, members of the family, and Mr. N.W. Mbekeani.
In his tribute to his friend Ambassador Mbekeani said Mangwazu was a fellow workmate from the diplomatic circles, but through the years had become a great friend that transcended borders into family.
Mangwazu was born on February 5, 1933 and served as Malawi’s Ambassador to West Germany. He briefly returned to Malawi and from 1978 and 1982 was chairman for Press Holdings Limited. He was later posted to the UN where he served as Permanent Representative until his retirement from the diplomatic career in 1989.
Ambassador Mangwazu also served as a cabinet minister in the Bakili Muluzi administration and was president of the Malawi National Democratic Party (MNDP). During his tenure as cabinet Minister, Mangwazu was on former Malawi VP Justin Malewezi’s entourage to Cairo Egypt for the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), in 1994.
He is survived by four children, 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
(c) The Maravi Post 2012. Reproduction without acknowledgement prohibited