The news that is so hard to swallow — Ismail Wadi dies

Gone too soon

* I will not mourn you, I will celebrate your life and hang on to the memories

* One of the kindest man I have ever known

By Duncan Mlanjira

Tributes and heartfelt condolences keep pouring at the news of the passing on of former Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ismael Wadi.

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Writing on his Facebook page, one of his closest friend, Peter Makossah said: “Today is the saddest day of my life. A dark cloud has befallen and a big part of my life story is gone.

“Here is a man I have known all my life and a brother we shared dreams, a friend who pushed me to be what I have become. I am in deep shock.

“I will not mourn you, I will celebrate your life and hang on to the memories. One of the kindest man I have ever known. Sleep well, my brother, Mafumu Ishmail Wadi.”

Chandiwira Chisi responded to say: “A good man gone too soon — shocking!” while Suzgo Litete described Wadi as a “humble and gentle soul. May God receive his soul.

He was a devout Muslim

On his last Facebook post on May 15, Wadi reminisced of his younger days by reminding the public of a song we all enjoyed with a dance —  ‘Si uyo sali mwendo ngwileni’.

“Does anyone know this nthano where the story teller would sing the song and the audience would respond, ‘Sali mwendo’? wrote the man who served as the DPP under former President late Bingu wa Mutharika from 2004-2006.

“Nthano kept our imaginations active before the so called Fiction Movies and  Sci-Fi’s movies began to ruin people’s mind with fake visionary images 😁.

“I particularly enjoyed the stories with a song package. Having stayed in all three regions whilst still of very tender age, I had opportunity to learn and listen nthano in three languages — Yao, Tumbuka and Chichewa and in that chronological order.

With Simbi Phiri (left) at Kamuzu International Airport last January

“For those that were in Mangochi in the 70’s would know the story of the big bird, ‘kalipepewa’ and the song in it, ‘Pe pe pe kalipepewa’ and the audience responded ‘pe pe pe’.

“And the story of ‘Che Matchado’ with a song in it ‘ndindindi Che Matchado mwe’ and the audience would respond, ‘ndi ndi ndi’ and in Karonga, same period, the story of an orphan that was being mistreated and left to chase birds in the rice fields with the song, ‘Fiya Fiya Mbalame’ and the audience would respond, ‘Zingele Tiye Zingele Tiye’.

“Is story telling still being  practiced? And any chance to revive it?” he had wanted some answers.

Chizuma was later accepted as ACB Director

On May 11, when Parliamentary Public Appointment Committee (PAC) initially rejected the appointment of former Ombudsman, Martha Chizuma as Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Wadi also joined the public’s condemnation and the call to have her name resubmitted.

He wrote: “Parliamentarians exercise duties in a representative capacity and if they act contrary to public interest and expectation we have the right to make them accountable to the decision they have made.

“We all know that Martha Chizuma is the person the country’s needs to spearhead leadership to achieve the objectives of Ant-Corruption Bureau. Her capabilities are impeccable and her suitability for the position is unquestionably.

“Let the President re-submit her name for re-consideration. Let us stand with Martha Chizuma for administrative Justice and demand a decision of the committee based on merit and not prejudice or fear.

“This is our time to speak loud and denounce apparent prejudice in decision making by PAC,” he had said.

College years

In October last year, the public highly praised and respected Wadi for revealing that he was diagnosed with a liver disease in 2009 and has lived with it ever since.

His post on Facebook attracted an avalanche of comfort and encouragement from the public for his courage to come in the open, especially as he offered advice that he has been pursuaded and almost conclusively that papaya is the treatment for liver disease.

He said to understand the disease, he had to read a lot, which was much easier for him because lawyers — as demanded by their profession — read a lot.

“So, that’s how I found myself researching and collecting information on liver diseases,” he wrote. “I most significantly learnt that at acute stage, it is a must that one must stop all the eating but should instead drink a lot of water and maybe a tablespoon of glucose for sugar balance.

The papaya

“But through trial and error, I came to discover that even in acute stage, there is something one can still eat and the liver receives it very well — it is Papaya (paw paw), preferably very ripe one.

“In my experience as a patient, I am pursuaded and almost conclusive that papaya is the treatment for liver disease. I share with you this information because all hospitals I have been, I was told that liver disease has no cure but can only be managed through low protein and low fat diet, exercise regularly and have enough rest and in the worse case of cirrhosis, then the last option is a transplant.

“If you have liver issues, be it NAFLD or AFLD, eat Papaya and generally eat healthy food,” Wadi had said.

Immediately he attracted massive support with Jane Banda thanking the late learned Counsel for sharing this powerful message, which Austin Banda described as being humane.

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Chauncy Mtambo wrote: “Papaya is one fruit that is endowed with many medicinal benefits! Thank you so much for sharing this, above all, let’s eat healthy all the time before we get sick! A vegetarian diet doesn’t hurt anyone at all.”

Ben Chitsime, Jollam Banda, Thandie wa Pulimeya, Louis Uko, Terrence Hardman, Ally TStephens — all described Wadi’s information as very valuable and thanked him for being very thoughtful of others.

Jennie Paddy-Grey said: “Sorry to hear about your liver disease. Sounds like you are managing it well. Was it cirrhosis. Intrigued to know how you found out. Have you overcome it?” to which Wadi responded: “At least I passed through the acute stage, was in the boarder line, no cirrhosis, now just managing the condition”.

Frank Kalonde said the liver is a mysterious body organ: “Even when 75% of your liver is destroyed, you still survive with the health 25% which develops to it’s normal size.”

May his soul rest in perfect peace.

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