History Of Malawi

Tribute: Prof. Guy Mhone, a Progressive & Distinguished Scholar from Malawi.

Prof. Guy Mhone was born on 20th December 1942 in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia where his parents had migrated from Nyasaland. He did his primary school education at Gloag Ranch Mission in Southern Rhodesia from 1953 to 1957 before enrolling at Livingstonia Secondary School in Nyasaland where he sat for Cambridge O’ level and  A’ level exams in 1962 and 1964 respectively.

Selected photos of Prof. Guy Mhone.

Having scooped the first prize in the Nyasaland’s national essay competition in 1964, he was awarded a Shell Scholarship to do further studies in UK or Australia. This was a period when politically the atmosphere was very tense country wide in the wake of cabinet crisis of 1964.

Having been suspected to have sympathized with the dissident cabinet ministers, his scholarship was sabotaged. Fortunately, a year later another scholarship to study at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire (USA) came on his way.

Because of his political activism against Dr. Kamuzu Banda’s tyrannical regime, he was declared a persona non grata in 1966 while studying at Dartmouth College.

Were it not for the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Campbell who relentlessly lobbied with the US government, Senator Edward Kennedy and Senator Edward Brookes to enable Guy acquire a refugee status in U.S.A, he would have been expelled from Dartmouth and immediately deported to Malawi where he would have been arrested upon arrival.

He continued with his studies and graduated with a BA (Economics) in 1968. His MA (Economics) and PhD (Economics) were awarded in 1972 and 1977 respectively by the Syracuse University where politically radical as he had ever been, he continued to speak and write against the repressive one-party system in Malawi.

While in USA, Prof. Guy Mhone had a short stint with the Belize’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the New York Treasury Department. Apart from lecturing at several universities in the USA and Southern Africa, Prof. Guy Mhone also worked with various international institutions like International Labour organization (ILO), Council for Development Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Southern Africa Political Economics Series Trust (SAPES), Centre for Public Sector Innovation.

He also did numerous consultancy assignments for the UNICEF, World Bank, UNDP, Ministry of Labor-Zimbabwe, Pan African Congress of Azania, Government of Zambia, Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) among others.

Furthermore, he played a pivotal role in the formulation of the South Africa’s new labour law during the years he worked as a Director of Labour Market Policy in the post-apartheid South Africa’s civil service. Thus, before serving as a Director of Wits University’s Graduate School of Public and Development Management.

Not only that but late Prof. Guy Mhone is also acknowledged as one of the framers of the post 1994 South African macro-economic policy and later he hatched a theory of Africa’s dysfunctional ‘enclave economies’ which forms a basis for a book on Alternatives to Neo-liberalism in Southern Africa (ANSA) entitled Towards A People Driven Development Agenda published in 2006.

Prof. Guy Mhone passed away on 1st March 2005 after unsuccessful surgical operation at a hospital in Pretoria. His burial ceremony was held at a family burial ground in Mzuzu on 11 March 2005.

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