Malawi former Finance minister and central bank governor Professor Matthews Chikaonda will be laid to rest Monday at his home village Mtakataka in Dedza.
According to a statement issued by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Friday, the body of Chikaonda is expected to arrive in the country Sunday, November 18 2018, through Kamuzu International Airport.
“The remains will be taken to his residence in Area 43 for a brief ceremony before proceeding to Tembetembe Village, Traditional Authority Kachindamoto, Mtakataka in Dedza District. The Funeral Service will start at 12:00 Noon on Monday 19th November, 2018, followed by the Burial Ceremony at Tembetembe Village,” reads the statement.
On Thursday, President Peter Mutharika directed that the late Chikaonda be buried with full
military honours as a former Cabinet minister.
“The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Honourable Samuel Tembenu, SC, will represent His Excellency the President at the Funeral Service and Burial Ceremony. May the soul of the Late Professor Mathews Chikaonda rest in peace,” it reads.
Malawians from all walks of life including former president Bakili Muluzi described Chikaonda’s death as a shock further saying he died at a time his expertise was needed to help improve the economy of the country.
“I have known Professor Chikaonda for a long time. I called him from Canada where he was teaching at a university and worked with him as a Reserve Bank governor and he later became minister of Finance and Economic Planning,” he told The Sunday Times.
Economics Association of Malawi President Chikumbutso Kalilombe said, by looking at the key positions Chikaonda held, it is clear that he significantly contributed to the development of the country.
“Professor Chikaonda has held many key positions in the country both in the public and private sector. It is clear that he contributed significantly in the development of the country but, for us at Ecama, we will remember the guidance he gave us in his capacity as one of our trustees,” he said.
Chikaonda died surrounded by his wife Violate and children Alipao, Matthew and Alinane after a long battle with cancer.
Chikaonda’s wife, Violet, said she will remember her husband as a principled man who loved his family and gave himself to the service of Malawi.
She said Chikaonda believed in Malawi’s ability to live up to its potential.
Chikaonda, who was born in August 1954, was a distinguished financial economist with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree specialising in finance from the University of Massachusetts.