Ex-Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, SC, was on Saturday, 21 August, 2021 laid to rest with military honours within his gigantic Chigodi private premises near Kachere Township on the Chiradzulu, Blantyre border.
It was a sombre but moving ceremony attended by high-level government dignitaries, officials from the Judiciary, the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to which the deceased belonged, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), as well as the Blantyre Synod’s CCAP clergy led by its General Secretary Reverend Dr. Billy Gama.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Titus Mvalo represented President Lazarus Chakwera at the funeral. In his eulogy, he extended a message of condolence to the bereaved family, friends and relatives from the President.
“They have known each other since college days in the 1970s. The President is devastated by the passing of Right Honourable Munlo,” said the Justice Minister, adding that the late Munlo was “a great man beyond the legal profession”.
In his eulogy, the Head of Judiciary, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda said the late Munlo was multi-talented.
“He had tentacles everywhere; apart from being a successful legal professional, my mentor was a very successful entrepreneur; he was generous in sharing, with open arms.
The deceased son, Mapwesera, also paid tribute to his father whom he described as their ‘hero’. He said it is devastating to realize that now he and his only brother, Mzee Kiphale, are fatherless.
Other speakers at the funeral ceremony included Prince Chiwalo who spoke on behalf of the Munlo family, Professor Vincent (virtual presentation) from Nigeria, who was late Munlo’s best friend and workmate at the Special Court for Sierra Leone between 2006 and 2007, a Mr. Sabola who represented the deceased’s friends, Group Village Headman Andrew of the area, and MCP’s Treasurer General Albert Mbawala, among others.
The Blantyre Synod’s General Secretary Reverend Dr Gama spoke on behalf of the Church, saying the late Munlo was a philanthropist who lived a selfless life and helped many people.
“He helped the Church build several prayer houses, he helped many people with scholarships, he built houses for many relatives
as well as those that were not his relatives,” he said.
The late Munlo died on Thursday, 19 August, 2021at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre following a Covid-19 attack.
The late Munlo served as Malawi’s Chief Justice from 2007 to 2013. He served as Deputy Registrar at International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) from 2001 to 2006 and Registrar at the United Nations (UN) Special Court for Sierra Leone and Assistant UN Secretary General.
The late Munlo was a Principal Partner in Green Munlo & Company, which he established after his industrious legal career.
In the early years of his legal career, he served as Minister of Justice and Attorney-General (1993 to 94;) Deputy Minister of External Affairs (1992 to 1993); Justice of the High Court of Malawi (1990 to 1992); Director of Public Prosecutions (1984 to 1987); Senior State Advocate (1980 to 1984); and State Advocate (1976 to 1980).
He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LL. B) from University of Malawi’s Chancellor College in 1976 and a Master’s Law Degree (LL. M) from the University of London in 1989.
The late Justice Munlo was born in Chiradzulu on 1 May, 1950. He is survived by wife, Evelyn, and two sons.
Other high-level officials at the funeral included First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Madalitso Kazombo, Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa, Minister for Homeland Security Chimwendo Banda, Justices Rezine Mzikamanda, Edward Twea, and former cabinet minister and one of the late Munlo’s closest friends, Henry Mussa, among others.