‘I love my wife’ – Former Malawian speaker of parliament shoots himself dead in parliament, left suicide note
A high-ranking former Malawian Member of Parliament who was also the second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Clement Chiwaya, has shot himself dead with a pistol in front of officials inside parliament this afternoon, September 30, 2021.
Chiwaya left a suicide note in which he wrote extensively about the dispute he had with parliament over the ownership of a specially adapted vehicle. After losing the last election to become a Member of Parliament for the fourth term, he began a process to allow him to buy a car provided by parliament to enable him to drive despite his disability. He paid for the vehicle, but accused parliament of failing to transfer ownership.
In the suicide note, he said he was tired of begging for what belonged to him and said he took his own life for fear of ‘hurting others’. Meanwhile, he also indicated that he had the opportunity to shoot all those in parliament, but chose to travel on that dreadful road all alone.
“While it would have been easier to hurt others with the means I have, I don’t want that to be my legacy. My heart and spirit has been brought down not because of the possession such as a vehicle, but the persistent begging that I am doing to get what belongs to me.
“Is this life worth living? Probably yes to others. But for me, the fact that I have taken the issue to various people and I am forced to be begging them to do something about it, is really depressing.
“I don’t have any more energy to carry on. Many of you will not forgive me, but I am down. I have reached the end of my tether. If I continue living, I will hurt others and I don’t want that to happen. I am already suffering from my post-polio syndrome which is getting worse every day. Compounded by this, these people [parliament] think I am asking for charity, and yet this is a vehicle I bought with my own money.”
Chiwaya’s suicide note
That notwithstanding, he expressed his love for his family, wife and children. He also reminded the wife of their plan to tie the knot in December.
“I love my wife Sullea. She has given me the best 11 years or so since I made a choice to live with her. We have seen ups and downs and she is my pillar in times of hurt like this. Yes, we had plans to wed in December. Ring or no ring, you gave me the best days.
“I love my children Bhubhile, Sandra, Crecencia, Caleb and Clement Jr. I really want to apologize to them for the pain I will bring to them. My fear is if I continue living, I will hurt others especially the people that have decided to make my life miserable, that way my family will be ostracized. I am going to Parliament and do this to make a statement that I know they are doing this, because I am disabled and they don’t value me.”
He continued the suicide note by thanking some key individuals who has helped him to fight the injustice in the system. He also made a will in which he indicated the people to inherit his properties.
“I would like to thank Martha Chizuma as Oumbsdsman, because she saw the injustice. Also, judges at the Commercial court for their part in trying to see this come to an end. Parliament feels they have the audacity to deny me what belongs to me and I have to go and beg them. I have had enough of that. With a fully loaded gun, I could have killed these people, but I will go alone. Let them prevail.
“I want everything that I have to be enjoyed by my mum my, wife and my kids mentioned above. I am going with a free mind. Sullea, I will always love you even in my death. Apiti Jana tuchisimana. I love you mum. To my mum and dad in US and to all my friends, I will always value the support you gave me through and through. We will meet on the other side,” he concluded.
However, the police averred that they are investigating how Chiwaya was able to enter parliament, which is usually under heavy security, with a loaded pistol. However, the speaker’s office suggested that, security officials thought that it was his wheelchair that triggered the metal detectors, which made them allow him to enter without detecting his gun.
Mr Chiwaya, born in 1971, became a disability rights activist and successfully ran as an MP three times. Chiwaya served as Member of Parliament (MP) for 15 years under the United Democratic Front (UDF). He also served as Deputy Speaker between 2014 and 2019. Chiwaya, however, bowed out of active politics in 2019.
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