Clement Chiwaya, a former Malawian MP, has shot himself dead at the Office of the Clerk of Parliament. Chiwaya, who was a wheelchair user after he contracted polio at the age of two, once served as an MP for Mangochi Central Constituency for 15 years under the United Democratic Front.
He also served as deputy speaker between 2014 and 2019. Nyasa Times reports that he shot himself right in front of the Clerk of Parliament, Fiona Kalemba. Chiwaya left a note before the shooting. Reports said the former deputy speaker had issues with officials in parliament over the ownership of a specially adapted vehicle.
When he bowed out of his role as deputy speaker, he started a process that will allow him to buy the vehicle provided by parliament. The vehicle enabled him to drive in spite of his disability so he paid for it. However, parliament refused to transfer ownership, he said.
He wrote about these matters in the note he left behind. “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. For me the fact that I have taken the issue to various people and I am forced to be begging them to do something is really depressing,” Chiwaya wrote, according to Nyasa Times.
The note continued: “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 everyday. Compounded by this these people think I am asking for charity and yet this is a vehicle I bought with my own money.”
The speaker’s office released a statement after the former MP’s death, saying that the matter was still in court, BBC reported. The police are now investigating how Chiwaya managed to enter parliament with a loaded pistol.
Born in 1971, Chiwaya was a disability rights activist.