President Peter Mutharika expressed grief and sorrow over Chikaonda’s demise and delivered his eulogy through Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Samuel Tembenu at the burial ceremony at Tembetembe Village, Traditional Authority Kachindamoto in Mtakataka, Dedza on Monday.
“As Minister of Finance, Chikaonda contributed to the country’s economic development in various ways. It is because of his great work that the President ordered that he should be accorded a State Funeral,” said Tembenu.
The funeral ceremony – amidst heavy downpour – took place with full military honours mounted by Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers from the Parachute Battalion from Malawi Armed Forces College (Mafco) in Salima.
Tembenu said Malawi has lost a “great man and patriotic leader” who was generous with advice in economic and political issues for nation-building.
Chikaonda held many key positions in the country both in the public and private sector. He once served as Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor from 1995 before a brief stint as Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development following his appointment in 2000.
In April 2012, Chikaonda—who is survived by a wife and three children—was appointed Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-dual listed Press Corporation Limited plc group chief executive officer, a position he held until his retirement in December 2016.
Chikaonda’s successor at Press Corporation Limited, George Partridge said the former CEO worked with ‘valour and honour’ at the conglomerate.
He offered his condolences to the bereaved family, and said Chikaonda’s services will always be remembered.
“Chikaonda was the first Malawian to be chief executive officer for Press Corporation. He was such an effective leader who genuinely loved those he was working with,” said Partridge.
He said Chikaonda rendered innumerable services towards the nation and that Press Corporation “still exists because of his visionary leadership.”
Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V, former Reserve Bank Governor Charles Chuka also extended heartfelt condolences towards the grieving family.
Chikaonda’s daughter Michelle described her father as loving and a teacher.
Born on August 8 1954, Chikaonda held a doctor of philosophy (PhD) in finance from the University of Massachusets, USA, a master of business administration (MBA) from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; bachelor of arts degree from the Council for National Academic Awards at Huddersfield University in the United Kingdom and a diploma in business administration from The Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi.