Barely a day after Don John Matenje announced his joining of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), his family has distanced itself from the party.
During his unveiling on Saturday at Lunzu Trading Centre in Blantyre, Don was referred to as one of the children of Dick Tennyson Matenje, one of the three Cabinet ministers and a legislator murdered under the MCP administration in 1983.
Besides Don, the party also unveiled Francis Chiwanga, son to former member of Parliament (MP) David Chiwanga who was murdered alongside Matenje. Francis Muluzi and Chiyembekezo Bwanali were also unveiled.
Chiwanga and Matenje are believed to have been assassinated alongside Twaibu Sangala and Aaron Gadama during MCP’s one-party era in 1983 in Mwanza.
But in a statement issued yesterday on behalf of the immediate Matenje family, Richard Dick Matenje said none of Dick Tennyson Matenje’s children had joined MCP.
Reads the statement in part: “Don John Matenje is the son of the late John Tennyson Matenje, the brother of the late Dick Matenje… He has joined the Malawi Congress Party as an individual and in exercise of his rights to freedom of association, conscience, opinion and expression guaranteed by and under the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.”
In a telephone interview, Richard said he was the biological son of Dick Matenje and Don’s political views did not represent those of the immediate family of the late Dick Matenje.
“The immediate family of the late Dick Matenje wish Mr Don John Matenje well as a member of the Malawi Congress Party. He remains a valued member of the extended Matenje family,” adds the statement.
In an interview yesterday, Don John Matenje said although he is not the biological son of the late Dick Matenje, culturally he considers the late Matenje as his father. n