Henry Chipembere

Henry Chipembere

Henry Masauko Blasius Chipembere was a Malawian nationalist who played a significant role in bringing independence from colonial rule to his native country, formerly known as Nyasaland. He died in exile in Southern California, of complications arising from diabetes.
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  • 1975
    Age 44
    He died in 1975, aged 45, survived by his wife, Catherine, and seven children.
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  • 1969
    Age 38
    In 1969, Chipembere returned to the US, where he taught at California State University.
  • 1968
    Age 37
    In early 1968, he attempted reconciliation with Banda through Lady Listowel and, through her, Glyn Jones.
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  • 1966
    Age 35
    Chipembere spent the rest of his life in exile. He remained in California until August 1966 when he left for Tanzania, then ruled by Julius Nyerere and his African-Socialist Tanzanian African National Union (TANU) party.
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  • 1965
    Age 34
    In March 1965, Chipembere, through Governor General Glyn Jones, made overtures to Banda to proclaim an amnesty in exchange for his agreement to leave the country.
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  • 1964
    Age 33
    Three other cabinet members (Yatuta Chisiza, Willie Chokani and John Msonthi) resigned on the same day, causing the Cabinet Crisis of 1964.
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  • 1963
    Age 32
    On February 1, 1963, Banda and his cabinet were sworn in, and the recently released Chipembere was given the post of Minister of Local Government.
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  • 1961
    Age 30
    Because he was in prison, Chipembere was unable to participate in the constitutional talks which brought about a general election, with full adult suffrage, in August 1961.
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  • 1960
    Age 29
    Despite Banda's release, tension in Nyasaland remained at a high level throughout 1960.
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    In August 1960, while governor Robert Armitage was on leave and the more sympathetic Glyn Jones was Acting Governor, Banda began pressing for the release of Chipembere and the Chisiza brothers.
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    The mood in Britain, meanwhile, had long been moving toward relinquishing the colonies. Banda was released from prison in April 1960 and was almost immediately invited to London for talks at Lancaster House aimed at bringing about constitutional changes.
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  • 1959
    Age 28
    Finally, on March 3, 1959, Armitage declared a State of Emergency over the whole of the protectorate and arrested Banda, other members of the Congress executive committee and as over a hundred local party officials.
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    On January 24 and 25, 1959, there was a meeting of Congress held without Banda near Blantyre, which became known as the "bush meeting".
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  • 1958
    Age 27
    In January 1958, Banda presented Congress proposals for an African majority in the Legislative Council to the governor, Sir Robert Armitage.
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    At a meeting of the Congress in Nkhata Bay on August 1, 1958, Banda was named President of the Congress and nominated Chipembere as Treasurer General.
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    The following month, on July 6, 1958, Banda returned to Nyasaland after an absence of 42 years.
    In June 1958, Chipembere, Dunduzu Chisiza and Chief Kutanja, joined with Banda in meeting the Colonial Secretary, Lennox-Boyd, in London to discuss a new constitution for Nyasaland (one which had already been roundly rejected by Nyasaland's governor, Robert Armitage).
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  • 1957
    Age 26
    In March 1957, TDT Banda, a leading member of Congress supported by the younger element, went to the Gold Coast to participate in that country's independence celebrations, and while he was there visited Banda in order to try to persuade him.
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  • 1956
    Age 25
    Banda, who had always regarded participation in the Federal Assembly as a betrayal, temporized and counselled patience, but Chipembere and Chiume nevertheless, on December 31, 1956, put a motion before Congress proposing that Chirwa and Kumbikano should be ordered to step down.
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    In November 1956, Chipembere wrote to Dr Banda, then in quasi-retirement in the Gold Coast (later Ghana), asking for his support in getting two African MPs, Manoah Chirwa and Clement Kumbikano, to resign from the Federal Assembly in Rhodesia, something which they had allegedly undertaken to do once they had officially protested against federation in the assembly on Congress's behalf.
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    In March 1956, aged only 25, Henry Chipembere resigned his civil service post in order to stand for election.
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  • 1954
    Age 23
    On December 30, 1954, he attended an informal meeting in Blantyre, Nyasaland, with like-minded young Nyasas, including Kanyama Chiume, who decided to ally themselves with the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC), then a rather moribund political organization dominated by an earlier generation demoralized by its failure to prevent the federation, in 1953, of Nyasaland with bordering Southern and Northern Rhodesia. In 1955, in order to provide a safety valve for African political self-expression, the Colonial Office agreed that the number of seats reserved for Africans on the Legislative Council should increase from three to five.
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  • 1930
    Born in 1930.
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