A dark cloud fell on the Malawi nation as they lost a long serving veteran politician Gwanda Chakuamba Phiri who died on Monday at around 1200hrs after battling with kidney problems at Blantyre Adventist Hospital.
Gwanda Chakuamba who hailed from the lower Shire Valley area in southern Malawi was born on April 4, 1934.
Chakuamba served in various cabinet positions under founding President Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Bakili Muluzi and briefly under Bingu wa Mutharika.
The veteran politician was a key figure within the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which was the sole legal political party. During the rule of President Hastings Kamuzu Banda, he held many cabinet positions and was Commander of the MCP youth group Malawi Young Pioneers.
In February 1980, Chakuamba was charged with sedition and given a 22-year prison sentence.
Chakuamba was released from jail in July 1993, a month after voters endorsed a return to multiparty politics in a referendum.
Chakuamba will be mourned and remembered for decades of service to the nation in various capacities.