Malawi Bids Farewell to John Zenus Ungapake Tembo, Veteran Statesman
Tembo, who passed away at the age of 91 in Lilongwe on September 26, 2023, was laid to rest in Dedza district with full military honours.
Dedza, Malawi- In a solemn ceremony filled with heartfelt tributes and military honours, President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and First Lady Monica Chakwera joined dignitaries from across the nation to pay their last respects to John Zenus Ungapake Tembo, a stalwart of Malawi's political and public service history, writes Blackson Mkupatira, MANA.
Tembo, who passed away at the age of 91 in Lilongwe on September 26, 2023, was laid to rest in Dedza district with full military honours for his remarkable contributions to the country.
Quote from President Chakwera: "Today is a very big day for the country because we bid farewell to one of the elders who spearheaded the history and culture of the country. He was peaceful and was not involved in politics of insults, but lived with people in all three regions of the country in peace."
Quote from President Chakwera on Tembo's Legacy: "He was a man who worked hard to keep the party strong and represented the people well in Parliament. If it wasn't for the groundwork he laid, I would not be standing here as your president."
Quote from MCP Secretary General Mkaka: "JZU fought a good fight and left the party in government. He also hailed JZU for remaining firm and unshakable while the party faced various challenges."
Quote from First Deputy Speaker Madalitso Kazombo: "He was a loyal perfectionist who was dedicated and well-focused on the work in front of him and did not forget his people."
Quote from John Tembo Jnr (son of John Zenus Ungapake Tembo): "He then thanked the president for according his father's burial full military honours, saying they do not take the gesture for granted."
Quote from Village Head Mphezi: "He advised the MCP leadership not to divide among themselves, saying this would honour the late his spirit."
Tembo's Distinguished Career: John Zenus Ungapake Tembo began his political career in 1961 and served as an MCP national executive member until his retirement from politics in 2013. He held various government positions, including Minister of Finance and Reserve Bank Governor. He also served as President of the MCP and Leader of the Opposition from 2003 to 2013.
Prominent Attendees: Among the notable figures in attendance were Vice President Dr. Saulosi Chilima, former President Bakili Muluzi, First Deputy Speaker of the Malawi Parliament Madalitso Kazombo, and former Vice President Khumbo Kachale.
The gathering showcased the unity and respect that John Zenus Ungapake Tembo's legacy has inspired among Malawians.