A high-ranking former Malawian MP, Clement Chiwaya, has shot himself dead in an office in parliament. Mr Chiwaya, who was a wheelchair user after he contracted polio at the age of two, served as deputy speaker between 2014 and 2019.
In a note he left shortly before the shooting, he wrote about the dispute he had with parliamentary officials over the ownership of a specially adapted vehicle.
After stepping down as deputy speaker 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 the ex-MP’s death, parliament said that the matter was still in court.
Local media are reporting that Mr Chiwaya 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. In its statement parliament said that security officials thought that it was his wheelchair that triggered the metal detectors.