Tributes pour in for Malawi’s former Minister of Finance, late Goodall Edward Gondwe, who has passed away at the age of 86 and leading the nation in mourning the revered economist, technocrat and politician, President Lazarus Chakwera said: “His dedicated service and contribution to our nation will forever be remembered — may his legacy continue to inspire us all.”
Late Gondwe was Vice-President for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for the Northern Region and in its eulogy, the Party said: “When the baobab tree falls, it shakes the grounds and shatters the small shrubs surrounding it. Ensuing pain and pandemonium cause animals to run heater-skelter in search of new shade and protection.
“Words fail to describe our pain and pandemonium after hearing the sad news that our source of shade and shelter, Malawi’s revered economic stalwart, Hon. Goodall Edward Gondwe has breathed his last.
“To say the departure of Dada Goodall Gondwe has left us empty and drained will be an understatement. Our knees are knocking together as we are unable to beat the pain we feel.
“Dada’s demise has been felt near and far, shaking and shattering the DPP and the country alike. His significant contributions as a pillar of the DPP and his remarkable tenure as Minister of Finance will be sincerely remembered.
“His absence leaves a void and our thoughts are with his family, the DPP, Malawi and all who mourn. May his legacy shine on.”
DPP treasurer general and Rumphi North Member of Parliament, Jappie Mhango told the media this morning that Goodall Gondwe had a fruitful discussion with DPP members at his residence in Lilongwe, until around 20:00hrs on Tuesday.
He is quoted as saying: “He called us to talk about unity in the party and the direction that we need to take. I left around 8pm. However, I was called late in the evening around 10pm that he was not feeling well.
“We took him to Adventist Hospital, where doctors told us that he was already dead when he got there. We have lost a pillar and I am, speechless. He was a father to me,” Mhango said.
Born on December 1, 1936 Goodall Gondwe served in the country’s Cabinet as Finance Minister on two occasions — 2004-2009 and 2014-2019 and also served as Minister of Local Government from 2009-2010 and Minister of Natural Resources, Energy & Environment Affairs from 2011-2012.
This was on his return from sojourn outside the country after serving as director of the Africa Division of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and in the the period leading up to his election MP, he served as the chief economic advisor to President Bakili Muluzi.
Goodall Gondwe, who was from Kayiwonanga Village in Mzimba District, attained his undergraduate training from the University of London, graduating with a B.Sc. in economics.
Upon graduation, he received a number of appointments to national and international financial institutions, including General Manager of the Reserve Bank of Malawi; Senior Vice-President and Acting President of the African Development Bank; and Senior Advisor, Director for Africa and Special Advisor to the managing director of the IMF;
He began his political career serving as an economic adviser President Bakili Muluzi and subsequently Bingu wa Mutharika who appointed him Minister of Finance and is greatly credited with Malawi’s success during Mutharika’s first term.
Together with Bingu, his economic development policies helped drastically improve the economic situation in the country and under his stewardship the rate of inflation fell from 30% in 2005 to 6% by 2008 — more importantly, Malawi saw its economy grow by approximately 6%.
In 2008, Gondwe was voted as Africa’s Finance Minister of the Year at the African Banker Awards, held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC, USA.