Malawi today is in shock following news of the passing of John Tembo – long-time leader and strategist of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Several people who had a stint with the late Tembo have expressed sadness at his passing.
Minister of Information, Moses Kunkuyu, who is government spokesperson said JZU was a true statesman who did a lot for the cause of building the country.
“When we talk of all the infrastructure that we see today, which Kamuzu Banda delivered, John Tembo was among the people behind all that. They provided immense support and environment for Kamuzu Banda to deliver,” said Kunkuyu.
Also mourning Tembo’s death, long-time political associate, Joseph Njobvuyalema, said the death of Tembo has robbed the country of an icon, a mentor, and an advisor passionate about the development of Malawi and the well-being of people.
“I had an opportunity to work with him since 1999, I learnt a lot, perseverance and commitment, ” mourned Njobvuyalema, former Opposition Whip in Parliament.
Hilda Manjankhosi who served the MCP as leader of the Lilongwe Women’s League for many years, said Tembo was generous to party followers and everyone who sought assistance from him. He said most importantly he anchored the MCP after the death of its leader of many years, Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
Also commenting on his father’s death, John Tembo Junior said the love his father had for Malawi was unmatched. He said late Tembo had a passion for education, Malawian culture and service to God.
“It’s a big loss, he always wanted the best for Malawi, a mentor but always stood for what he believed in,” said Tembo Junior.
Before the change of government in 1994, Tembo served in several portfolios as Minister, first Malawian Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, and chairperson of various government agencies.
After 1994 he remained Member of Parliament for Dedza South Constituency. When MCP became an opposition political party, the late Tembo also represented the party at the 2004 and 2009 elections and left the political stage in 2013.
He died at Lilongwe Private Clinic in Lilongwe. According to his son, John Tembo Junior, burial arrangements are yet to be announced.
Reported by Isaac Jali.