SKC laid to rest

…life on unstinting service

Hours long masses, two long journeys- from Chikangawa Forest to Lilongwe and from Bingu Stadium to his home at Nsipe in Ntcheu, Malawi’s fifth vice president Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima remains were finally laid to rest, witnessed by thousands.

At 13:40 the flag on his coffin was removed and handed over to his widow, a tradition of honour of late Dr. Chilima’s service to Malawi. At 13:45  his remains were slowly lowered into earth, closing a remarkable part of Malawi’s political history.

Laid at last – SKC’s final resting place in Nsipe, Ntcheu

With a 19 gun salute, the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) closed 51 years of Late Chilima’s earthly journey.

The moment of late Chilima’s legacy was to bring together deeper political foes- President Lazarus Chakwera and former President Peter Mutharika, his predecessor, met before the service with a hug and brief conversation that lasted 38 seconds. The two have only met twice- when President Chakwera visited Mutharika at his Page House and the second being the encounter in Ntcheu.

Chilima’s clans’ men sang their war song “Chilima munamphela dala, dzikoli musale nawo” which his fellow Church uplifted mourners with heavenly singing and moving mass presided by ArchBishop Thomas Msusa and all the available Judges.

The Church preached peace, hard work and dedication to duty as the lessons that Malawi

President Chakwera and Madam Chakwera laying their wreath

Chilima’s shortest walk from the Nsipe ground to the gravesite was led by Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V and Inkosi ya Makhosi Mmbelwa V and other traditional leaders, followed by his widow Mary and their Children Sean and Elizabeth and other family members.

Behind the family were security agencies- followed by Cabinet Ministers, Chief Justice Rezine Mzikamanda and Second Deputy Speaker Aisha Mambo. Behind them was former Vice President Khumbo Kachali-from whom Chilima took over. Malawi’s fifth president who brought Chilima into politics, Peter Mutharika and his wife Getrude followed behind. Behind him Malawi’s second president Bakili Muluzi.

Former President Peter Mutharika and his wife Getrude laying wreath

Following the clergy- the former vice president’s coffin draped with the Malawi flag was taken by military pallbearers. Catholic priests conducted last rites for the man who never missed mass almost everyday of his life.

Various dignitaries laid their wreaths.

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