Rose Chibambo, one of Malawi’s co-founders has passed away

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Rose Chibambo

Rose Chimbambo on a K200 note

Rose Chibambo, one of the co-founders of Malawi is dead, Malawi24 has learnt.

Rose Lomathinda Chibambo, born on 8 September 1928, was a prominent human rights activists and politician against the Britain and Kamuzu Banda.

Having fought with others for the country’s independence, Rose Chimbambo became the first female cabinet minister in the Kamuzu Banda government before falling off with the dictator. She was then forced into exile for thirty years, returning after the restoration of democracy.

She married Edwin Chibambo, son of the Reverend Yesaya Chibambo, one of the first Africans in the British Protectorate of Nyasaland, as Malawi was known then, to be ordained as a Christian minister. She completed her secondary education at night school in Zomba in 1948 while pregnant with her first child.

Rose Chibambo

Rose Chibambo

As a member of Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) that was fighting against the Federation of Nyasaland and Rhodesia, Chibambo is said to have made the following remarks: “[Y]ou know, we are the mothers. We are the ones who bring out children and these children are employed by Wenela [in South Africa] at that time. They go to Wenela and most of them die there. They don’t come back alive. And then there’s a lot of oppression. There’s this thangata and with that federation, unfortunately for them, that time, they had already started removing people in the areas where they thought it was best for Europeans or it was best for farming … They wanted to make room for Europeans to settle. I said, you can see all these things. Now, we are being removed in our rural areas. We are being pushed here and there. And the women understood. They said, oh yes, then we must do something”

When she was arrested on 3rd March 1959, Rose Chibambo, 29 then, took with her to jail her firth born child, an infant.

After her release, she won the Mzimba South seat in the 1963 elections and was made Deputy Minister for Hospitals, Prisons and Social Welfare.

Chibambo and others opposed Kamuzu Banda’s decision to charge for health services and to move slowly in Africanization of the civil service. This was coupled with a general feeling that Banda was becoming increasingly autocratic, leading to the 1964 Cabinet Crisis. She was declared a traitor and threat to national security.

Rose Chibambo returned to Malawi in 1994 having fled to Zambia in 1965 with her husband following the cabinet crisis that led to their persecution from agents of the state in the dictatorial regime.

President Bingu wa Mutharika honoured Rose Chibambo by naming a street in Mzuzu City after her and having her face on the country’s K200 banknote.

She died in the early hours of Tuesday, 12 January, 2016 aged 87.

*If you met and interacted with Rose Chibambo, please tell us your experience or what you know of her and we will publish your story. email: [email protected]

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498 Comments

  1. She wasn’t a co-founder of malawi we have them and actually you know them,don’t confuse people here just consolle the deceased but never say trash about malawi…….!!

  2. Hamba phumula phezulu. You stood for the truth, so courageous you were. You would have chosen to protect your position in the government like the crop of politicians we have today but instead malawians’s welfare mattered most to you. Yes you are gone but your legacy will live from generation to generation.

  3. I respect this woman because she was brave enough and courageous, she had work with my uncle the late Kanyama Chiume for this freedom of today. May Her Soul rest in peace

  4. RIP mama Rose, though I never met u before bt through history I know u perfectly well.U were indeed a strong woman which malawi ever had before, I go miss u & malawi as a whole.

  5. Adakalamba ndiye musamati taluza munthu wabwino. Palibe chitukuko akadapanga koposa kusamalidwa ndi abale. Mulungu adapereka and Mulungu yemweyo watenga. Kapumuleni kuzolemesa zanu.

  6. Who can we blem for her sufferings the MCP regime who chase her into exile or Multparty democrase who brought her back. MCP izipepesabe kwa anthu ngati amenewa chifukwa cha nkhaza zawo. RIP

  7. Ths z wht U were waiting 4, yes, U, heartless monsters, come on in, pay ur fake homage to the fallen real hero, provide all u can nw tht she couldn’t hv on the sick bed, oh Mw, hw cud u????Mama, u dd ur part n a great 1. Rest in the blossom of the Lord

  8. Agalu a dziko lapansi kuti athandize munthu kukanika koma KUGULIRA ZIBWEZI MAGALIMOTO ODULA ndiye Boma la paMalawi. R.I.P Amayi

  9. If only God could’v bn asking 4 our opinions b4 taking someone,We couldn’t hav been allowing him 2 be taking such VIP dat contributed positively 2 de development of wat is called Malawi 2day.May her soul rest in perfect peace plz!

  10. If only God could’v bn asking 4 our opinions b4 taking someone,We couldn’t hav been allowing him 2 be taking such VIP dat contributed positively 2 de development of wat is called Malawi 2day.May her soul rest in perfect peace plz!

  11. best wishes were not there when she was sick. money for hospital bills was unavailable. since she is dead, more condolences, money for casket is available! poor Malawians

  12. wa mcp asakomente za imfa ya aunt anga.Stupid party that contributed to the suffering of my aunt by forcing her exile for 30 yrs.Tengasoni bomalo muzuzeko ena coz my mam z gone.Mam,rest peacefully in the arms of God.We are going to suffer another exile on yo behaf coz u taught us how to throw cards.May God bless true sympathisers here.

  13. Woman of a good calibre, nationa miss u,we miss u,your name is among names,not just names but great names that shall remain names in our great History, miss u Rose,the great Rose,RIP.

  14. We have lost astrongest woman that we had ever hard you fought a good fight.,si amai amasikwano omenya nkhondo mkubaposo WE WILL REMEMBER YOU (RIP)ma gogo.

  15. We have lost astrongest woman that we had ever hard you fought a good fight.,si amai amasikwano omenya nkhondo mkubaposo We

  16. pepani azimai nonse mwataya mai olimba mutima mdzikolathu la malwi komaso kuno kupoto amai ngati awa masikuano akusowa chocho mzimu wa amai rose chirambo uuse mtendere coco timphe boma kuti mbiri nya amai u isathe pakati pathu .sorry malawi .r i p rose chirambo

  17. Rest in peace Mama. She was one of the freedom fighters in Malawi. Ndiye enanu mukungokula mimba, kudyelera ufulu omwe wina wake anauvutikira, koma munkathawira kwa azungu kuwopa kamuzu. Lero mukudyelera ufulu, mimba zili khucha. Bwanji simunalimbe mtima kulimbana ndi Kamuzu. Lero mukupeza mphamvu kumangokuwa zina zili zonse. Mkazi anakuposani nzeru agalu adyera inu.

  18. Kodi iyi ndi History yatsopano? Mabuku odziwika bwino a History ya Malawi anthu omwe anamenyela ufulu wa dziko la Malawi palibe Mzimayi .Tsopano uyu anali kuti nthawi yonseyi? Mungoyika nkhope ya zibwenzi zanu Basi .Bola kuyika John grey kufa, Chinyama ndi ena otelo osati wamabele kunalibe.

    • Plz guyz tiphunzitsileni ana zoona zokha zokha .We can change chichewa, commercial studies ,Geography etc But not History. History remain the same.

    • @ Kanyenya, the BIG FOOT was with MCP. This is the trueth your hearing now. Kamuzu was not the founder of Nyasaland Congress Party or Malawi Congress Party. Only he domineted in many things. So we need a rewritten history of Malawi and there are alot of people who suffered in the hands of the Britons as well Kamuzu.

    • Ok @Kachingwe it sounds Gud But what i dont understand is “This woman was among the group of people anamenyela ufulu wa Dziko?So u mean tiyendele mau akuti “Mu nthawi yakusadziwa Mulungu analekelera?”Iiiiiiiiiiii izo ndi zanu Guyz enafe siticheuka m’mbuyo kuopa kusanduka CHULU CHA MCHERE.

    • U r saying…..we like post yatigwira mtima or yakamba zotisangalatsa then inu mwapanga like u mean u r happy that someone has gone? Shame!

  19. zoona jevoha tidza kwayinu mogonja ndi kuvomereza kut nzathu mmodz mwamuitana..tikupepha zimu woyera limbitsani mitima banja lawo ndikuwawathangatira popepa popanda inu sitingaime patokha yawe h khalani patsorolo pathu yawe..may her sour rest in peace.Amen.

  20. Chemo kwa wena Ekwendeni!! Rose wachemelezga ugano pakwa Chibambo. mwee tafwa tasokwa mama. but Ekwendeni pple they are proud of u granny.u fought a good fight to the Malawi nation n may your soul be happy where it will rest.

  21. Pamaliro pake boma likagura ng’ombe ndi mbuzi zoti an2 adye…Bt nthawi yomwe anali moyo m’mangomuyang’ana…Amalawi tizikhala choncho?…God’ll do someting…May her soul rest in eternal peace…

  22. kwamba sande wanu mpaka eyiti,fomu wanu
    mpaka foru,chaka cha kwamba pa college mpaka kwamba ntchito nga mtumbuka Wa ku Mzimba nindapulikepo za mama uyu.nyifwa ni nyifwa tasuska tafwa mwafwatata,kweni iwe walemba ivi ukuwoneka ndiwe mwana chomene.kwa iwe hisitore yikwamba pa 17 may 1994.Ndipo ukumanya yayi umo wina Malawi wakumanyira za munthu uyo.Theory is simple, atatavyala wake wakawa muliska wakwamba as you said, ndikokuti banja lawo likaba lakuzirwa.She was just appointed not chosen by the people hence dictatorship.Your article is not only a work piece but also to gain popularity as a journalist.MHSRIP.

  23. Hospital bill imavuta kuti alipililidwe paja amai wa,pano muona boma likuthamanga ndi zakudya,transport,casket ngati Ali nchikondi.ANTHU OIPA!!!

  24. Week yatha yomweyi mwana wawo amadandaula kuti mayiwa akusowa ndalama zoti alipilire ma bill ku mwaiwathu pvt Hospital koma palibepo yemwe anayankha, Atsogoleri adziko lathu ndiozikonda kwambiri samatha kuyang’ananso ntchito zabwino zomwe anzawo anachita,ndiye lero poti wamwalira muwaoneno ayambe matukutuku akuti tiziti zawakhuza

  25. So sad u were so silent mama, inetu I she was dead already…
    Plz we need people like you to come out & kumawapasa discipline ma politicians awa akungotibela ndalama, zoti anthu ngati inu “mama” munkafuna aMalawi tizinjoya salabada….
    R.I.P

  26. Koma amwalira akudandaula kusowanatu thandizo

    Nde muona boma tiyamba nyonyo nyonyo chonsecho mmene akadwala simunawathandize. Kumavutika boma LA DPP likungoyang’ana boma ili mchileso ndithu.
    RIP

  27. I once met with her at Ekwendeni on 17th August 2012 & she talked to me like this;
    ” this is our country” ” work hard” ” will prosper”

    Oops! I’ll miss her.
    RIP our brave DAUGHTER of mother Malawi.

  28. Rose rest in Peace, Your face on the K200 kwacha note is justified plus you are a freedom fighter and a Legend: A statue has to be constructed for your rememberance in one of the cities: Once again RIP:

  29. Nanso a Pedro mutu wankhani simukuona? “Rose Chibambo, one of Malawi’s co-founders is dead” Mumafuma mutu wake ukhale kuti chiyani??

  30. Just a week ago when a daughter to Mrs Chiwambo comndeming gvt 4 nt paying attention her mother’s sickness. Now God has called her may be before her death day was around the corner cause of gvt’s unwilliness.May almighty God attend her,forgive her sins and care for her until we meet her again in paradise, AMEN.

    • Malawi was founded 1964,what does that mean? by who ? To say kamuzu was founder is total rubbish.Ask D D Phiri historian.Kamuzu was called to help by Orton Chirwa,Chipembere,Kanyama chiume and others.Know malawi history.

    • @ JAMAL BE SERIOUS.AKATI CO-FOUNDER SI NDE KUTI SHE IS THE FOUNDER OF THIS COUNTRY,NO.WE ALL KNOW THAT THE FOUNDER OF MW IS GOD.SHE JUST HELPED THE POOR PEOPLE TO BECOME INDEPENDENT.

    • Now let me answer this rhetoric question, when you say founder or co-founder, you mean a person who helped conceptualize the idea of Malawi, meaning the people who were there drawing the maps of Malawi, the boundary agreement was done under their watch. Not freedom fighters, they are to be given the accolade of freedom fighting which we highly appreciate as such that her soul may rest in peace. I think the journalist was driven by emotions thats why he wrote the word co-founder.

    • Now let me answer this rhetoric question, when you say founder or co-founder, you mean a person who helped conceptualize the idea of Malawi, meaning the people who were there drawing the maps of Malawi, the boundary agreement was done under their watch. Not freedom fighters, they are to be given the accolade of freedom fighting which we highly appreciate as such that her soul may rest in peace. I think the journalist was driven by emotions thats why he wrote the word co-founder.

  31. Mwapita kuthupi koma mnzimu wanu;utithangatilabe kunkhondo yolimbana ndi satana yomwe asilikali ake nda tsogoleri athu omwe;yomwenso yautsa mkwiyo wa #CHAUTA yokwatilana amuna kaya azimayi okhaokha.#RIP mamaaaa

  32. MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE,,as A Nation,we Have A Bad Tendecy,we Dont Help Our Heroesmarty’s Whilst They Are Alive,apa Zachitika Mumva Chithandizo Chomwe Apeleke Anthu Pomwe Ndiponi Alimoyo Amavutika,tiyeni Tisinthe Kuti Zisinthe,let Us Do Good While They Are Still Alive