Malawi’s Local Government Minister Lingson Belekanyama, and the Minister of Transport and Public Works Sidik Mia, have died from COVID-19 Tuesday.
Government spokesperson Gospel Kazako and Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda separately confirmed the deaths. Last week, the Presidential Taskforce Committee on COVID-19 said Belekanyama had tested positive for the virus and had gone into self-isolation. Belekanyama was part of the taskforce.
On the other hand, Mia announced on Facebook that he had contracted COVID-19. Both ministers died early Tuesday morning
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) have expressed shock at the death of the two ministers.
In statements, which DPP spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira and UDF president Atupele Muluzi have issued, the two parties say the two ministers’ demise is a great loss to Malawi.
Mpinganjira says the party sympathises with President Lazarus Chakwera, Malawi Congress Party and the entire nation.
Muluzi, on the other hand, says he is lost for words. “The country has lost [a] very dedicated, benevolent and patriotic, patriotic citizen,”Muluzi says of Mia while describing Belekanyama as a “humble, hardworking and patriotic”.
Belekanyama was laid to rest on Tuesday afternoon at his home in Msinja while Mia remains were ferried to Ngabu for burial.