Malawi: Ex-MP shoots himself dead in parliament

A high-ranking former Malawian MP, Clement Chiwaya, has shot himself dead in an office in parliament.

Mr Chiwaya, who had been using a wheelchair since he contracted polio at the age of two, served as deputy speaker between 2014 and 2019.

In a note he left before he went to parliament in Lilongwe, he wrote about the dispute he had with parliamentary officials over the ownership of a specially adapted vehicle.

After losing an election he began a process to allow him to buy the car provided by parliament that enabled him to drive despite his disability.

He paid for the vehicle but he accused parliament of failing to transfer ownership. In a statement released after his death, the speaker’s office said that the matter was still in court.

Local media are reporting that he entered the office of the clerk of parliament on Thursday and shot himself with the clerk watching.

In his 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”.

Mr Chiwaya, born in 1971, became a disability rights activist and successfully ran as an MP three times.

Police are now investigating how he was able to enter parliament, which is usually under heavy security, with a loaded pistol. The speaker’s office said that security officials thought that it was his wheelchair that triggered the metal detectors.

Source: BBC