In a well written profile in courage By an MBC reporter which I have shared below, Peter’s courage was undeniable. He risked life and limb to make sure Kamuzu Banda was defeated in Malawi’s first truly democratic presidential election in 1994. Kamuzu was roundly defeated by Bakili Muluzi, a Yao from the southern region of the country. Unknown to many Peter Chupa was among the many Malawians who risked life to organize clandestine meetings along with Bakili Muluzi and many others.
However, as a friend I will always remember Peter Chupa from our young days when we hang out at Mount Soche dancing the evening away at Super Disco 75. Peter Chupa was the first among my friends to grow up and Marry his lovely wife Linda Banda. He showed us the courage it took to remain friends with single guys while he took the responsibilities that come with commitment to marriage and raising a Family.
When Peter Chupa was Minister in the Muluzi Government he had an opportunity to attend a regional cooperation conference organized by the American Government at Emory University. A week before the conference I received a call from Peter alerting me of the event. We spend time remembering our time growing up in Malawi. he also made sure I was able to attend the conference as part of the Malawi delegation. During that week I learnt a lot about my Friend Peter. Being a Minister did not change him but instead he was humbled by the responsibility and was ready to share in his achievements.
The second lovely occasion happened a few years later when he called me to tell me that his daughter Maggie was getting married in San Diego. He knew I lived in Atlanta and his first visit to the USA had prepared him for the Geographical challenges of the USA where the contiguous US has 4 standard time zones. In addition, Alaska, Hawaii, and 5 US dependencies all have their own time zones.
Mindful of what it would take to travel to San Diego, California from Atlanta Georgia, he set to assure me that he did not intend for me to attend the wedding he just did not want to come to the States and not tell me. Of course, I could not miss this occasion. The wedding was very beautiful. Linda his wife looked as beautiful as I remembered her. We had a great three days and I was there seeing my friend proud Papa Peter giving away his daughter in marriage.
Peter Chupa will be remembered by many as a brave man who risked his life to bring democracy to Malawians, however to me I will remember him simply as a friend. Farewell my friend…
MBC article Below
At exactly 15:15 hours on Thursday, the casket carrying the remains of politician and my good friend Peter Chupa began its slow descent into its last home of Henry Henderson Institute (HHI) Cemetery in Blantyre.
Anti-third term icon Peter Chupa buried: He was shining example of integrity, hard work and patriotism – Nankhumwa
That was the last step of Chupa’s 62-year-old walk on earth which saw him becoming a Member of Parliament in Blantyre City Central in 1996 and his subsequent appointments into various cabinet positions.
Towards 2004 general elections, Chupa joined forces with Brown Mpinganjira to form a National Democratic Alliance (NDA), a political grouping which led a crusade to oppose democratic Malawi founding president Bakili Muluzi into seeking a third term in office.
From the eulogies from government, family and friends, Chupa sacrificed his energy just to make sure that democracy in Malawi deepened.
“His contributions to Malawi are well documented,” said Local Government and Rural Development Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa who represented Present Arthur Peter Mutharika at the funeral service.
“Peter Chupa was a shining example in as far as issues of integrity, hard work and patriotism are concerned. From the time he was elected as Member of Parliament he worked tirelessly for the betterment of this country. From the time he was serving as cabinet minister in different portfolios, he proved a high-level integrity and someone who loved this country.
“It is with that background that His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika directed that his body be laid to rest with full military honours,” added Nankhumwa.
To the family, Chupa was a pillar of strength and unity, if eulogies from a family representative Gerlad Banda was anything to go by.
Said Banda: “He listened to all of us. He cared for all of us- both young and poor, he anchored us together as one family.”
Apart from politics, Chupa also dedicated his time to the promotion of his Ngoni culture a feat that saw him decorated as an Impi (minister or advisor) of Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani of the Maseko Ngoni.
“He was an Impi who feared God. He was always there for me every time I needed him. His wisdom and understanding of our culture were profound,” said the youthful Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V.
To the St. Michaels and All Angels C.C.A.P. Church, Chupa never let his political business interfere with church affairs and Christian life.
Escorting Chupa through his last mile were former presidents Bakili Muluzi and Joyce Banda, former chief justices Richard Banda and Lovemore Munlo, Henry Mussa , Brown Mpinganjira and Ziliro Chibambo among other notable figures.
Elwin Mandowa is the Founder Managing Editor of The Maravi Post