President Dr Lazarus Chakwera and First Lady Monica Chakwera on Wednesday, attended the burial ceremony of John Zenus Ungapake Tembo with full military honours for his outstanding service to the country at his home in Dedza district.
Speaking during the funeral service held at Dedza Stadium Ground, Chakwera said Malawi has lost a man who channeled his energy towards the development of the nation and elevating his people.
“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,” said Chakwera.
The President further described Tembo as a God fearing man who abided by the law and respected the constitution while serving in various top government positions and as the executive member for the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
“He was a man who worked hard to keep the party strong and represented the people well in Parliament. When it was his time to retire he went on his retirement peacefully. If it wasn’t for the groundwork he laid, I would not be standing here as your president,” said Chakwera.
On his part, MCP Secreatery General Eisenhower Mkaka said JZU fought a good fight and left the party in government.
First Deputy Speaker of Malawi Parliament Madalitso Kazombo said during his tenure as the leader of opposition, Tembo contributed greatly to the development of the country by ensuring that the voices of people from villages are heard.
Representing the Leader Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa (DPP), Nicholas Dausi described JZU as a man of integrity and discipline. He said JZU played a pivotal role in bringing peace in Mozambique during the war.
Speaking on behalf of the children, John Tembo Jnr said his father would have been pleased to see the unity that people have shown during his burial.
He then thanked the president for according his father’s burial full military honors, saying they do not take the gesture for granted.
Some public figures who attended the burial ceremony include Vice president Dr. saulosi Chilima, former president Bakili Muluzi, First Deputy Speaker of Malawi Parliament Madalitso Kazombo and former Vice President khumbo kachale.