By Chifundo Gama
Thousands of Malawians, both dignitaries and common people, rich and the poor, Muslims and Christians led by Malawi State President Ngwazi Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika on Thursday mourned Dr. Aleke Kadonaphani Banda, AKB, who until his death was the Executive Chairman of one of Malawi’s leading publishing companies, the Nation Publications Limited, NPL, established in 1993.
Speaking on behalf of The President, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Khumbo Kachali lamented that the late Aleke Banda was a good man who always wished Malawi well.
“Dr. Aleke Banda will be remembered as a man who always Malawi and its people well because of the love he had for the nation regardless of his political status,”said Kachali.
He added that State President Ngwazi Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika declared the late Aleke Banda as a nation hero hence the full military honours at the late Aleke Banda’s funeral.
In addition, government under Dr Mutharika last year identified and recognised the Dr. Aleke as a Grand Achiever of National Holder Achievement and bestowed him with an honorary degree under the Mzuzu University.
Masankho Banda, Aleke’s son in his eulogy described his dad as a good and decent man who knew what he had on his heart and knew what he said.
Masankho added that he will remember his father as an honest, humble and hardworking.
“Ever since, my father told us (children) what he had on his heart and we will remember him as a humble, honest and hardworking man not only in Malawi but also in other countries in the world,” said Masankho with grief.
Kachali who is also the ruling DPP deputy president said since 1957 when Dr Mutharika knew the late Dr. Kadonaphani Banda, the two never had any conflicts till his death.
Furthermore, Kachali said President Dr. Mutharika and Malawi government under his leadership made all efforts to save the late Aleke Banda’s life by taking him to a hospital in South Africa that as of December last year, costed government more than MK180m.
Dr Mutharika through Kachali said Aleke will be recognised as one of the national heroes and will not be spared from Malawi’s history.
Through Kachali, Dr Mutharika also thanked Zambia’s First Lady, Madam Thandiwe Banda for being in attendance during the funeral ceremony.
Dr. Aleke Banda who was buried in his own farm in Chirimba, Blantyre died two weeks ago at the Morningside Medi Clinic in South Africa after a four year battle with cancer-Malawi Digest.