Former president of Malawi Joyce Banda and President Lazarus Chakwera have paid tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African Nobel peace laureate who passed away at the age of 90 on boxing day.
The former Malawi leader said the African continent and the entire world has lost a distinguished son, a Man of God and a gallant fighter for human rights.
Banda in her message recalled the meeting she had with Tutu in USA in September, 2014 when the two and former U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton USA were speakers at Starky Hearing Foundation annual conference on disability matters.
“He was a man gifted with great wisdom. I will never forget how a single meeting over lunch impacted me forever,” said Banda.
On his part, President Lazarus Chakwera expressed sadness over Tutu’s death and he sent condolences to all people Tutu touched during his life of exception service to humanity.
“I will remember Archbishop Tutu as an outstanding global icon who utilized the power of deliberate, honest and constructive dialogue to facilitate lasting peace among people of different races and creeds,” said Chakwera.
Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his non-violent opposition to apartheid.
A decade later, he witnessed the ends of that regime and he chaired a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to unearth atrocities committed during those dark days.
Even after the end of apartheid, Tutu never wavered in his fight for a fairer South Africa and he called on the Black political elite to account with as much feistiness as he had the white Afrikaners.
Tutu is survived by his wife Leah, four children and seven grandchildren.