Malawi’s first democratically elected Vice President [1994-2004], Dr. Justin Chimera Malewezi, has died while preparations were underway to airlift him to the Republic of South Africa to receive medical attention.
Dr. Malewezi served as Dr. Bakili Muluzi’s Vice President in 1994 after the United Democratic Front [UDF] became triumphant in the first multiparty elections which saw the end of the Malawi Congress Party [MCP] 31 year rule and dictatorship.
He worked as Dr. Kamuzu Banda’s Secretary to the President and Cabinet [SPC], probably one of the longest serving SPCs Malawi has ever had. He worked with Kamuzu hand in hand and was an experienced professional civil servant.
Before being appointed SPC by Kamuzu Banda, Dr. Malewezi worked in various positions in the civil service including Secretary for Health, Secretary for Treasury and Chief Advisor on monetary issues, his heart was to see Malawi change from dictatorship to many parties.
While working as Dr. Kamuzu Banda’s Secretary, Dr. Malewezi was working with a pressure group, the UDF in the underground movement during Malawi’s transition to change for democracy in 1992, the intelligence of Kamuzu and the MCP linked Dr. Malewezi to a pressure group fighting for change in Malawi, leading to his firing as Dr. Kamuzu Banda’s Secretary to the President and Cabinet [SPC].
…”In 1994-2004, Dr. Malewezi was elected as Ntchisi North Constituency legislator under the UDF, he was a politician, Book writer and teacher, coming from a family, whose father, was a teacher by profession…,’’ reads the political record on the wall.
In 2004, former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi hand picked Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika to run for the UDF Presidency, this annoyed Dr. Malewezi, and he resigned from the UDF to join the People’s Progressive Movement [PPM] where he was elected Vice President of a coalition of 7 political parties forming the Mgwilizano Coalition.
The Mgwilizano Coalition elected Gwandanguluwe Chakuamba Phiri as its Presidential torchbearer in the 2004 General elections. Dr. Malewezi thought having 10 years’ experience as Vice President of Malawi and being a professional civil servant, saw him as the rightful candidate for the presidency amd as such left the Coalition to stand as an independent Presidential candidate where he unfortunately lost.
In 2004-2009, Ntchisi North East Constituency elected Charles Kasunda as its Member of Parliament, he was being used by the UDF as a tool for castigating Dr. Malewezi and this forced Dr. Malewezi to avenge by standing again to silence Kasunda, where he was elected again legislator from 2009-2014.
Dr. Malewezi was born in 1944 at Mawiri Village in the area of senior Chief Nthondo in Ntchisi district, a Robert Blake secondary school student, obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology in the United States of America [USA] at Columbia University, and after retiring from active politics in 2014, he had been consultaning in education advising different countries including Tanzania and Zambia.
Dr. Malewezi is survived by a wife, Felister and four children, 2 boys and 2 girls, all working in the United Kingdom [UK].
May His Soul Rest in eternal peace.
By Vincent Gunde