Friday, April 06, 2012
By Charles Kufa, Nyasa Times
April 6, 2012
African leaders have started sending condolence messages to Malawians through acting President, Her Excellency Joyce Banda following the death of Head of State Bingu wa Mutharika on Thursday April 5.
Kenyan President Mwayi Kibaki and Botswana President Ian Khama were the first leaders to send the condolences through Her Excellency Banda. Kibaki in a message extended “heartfelt condolences and sincere sympathies” to the government and people of the Republic of Malawi as they try to come to terms with the loss of their ruler.
Botswana’s Khama expressed “deep sorrow” on the death of the 78-year-old President.
Mutharika suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday morning and reportedly died soon after 1pm.
As government officials and cabinet ministers are locked in the meeting on the way forward, reports indicate that the process to bring back the President’s body has started.
Mutharika’s dead body remains at Milpark Hospital morgue where the process of embalming is expected to take place before the remains are flown back to Malawi for burial.
Meanwhile, Malawi’s flagship daily The Nation has criticised government’s handling of Mutharika’s condition.
“It is time to do things well through provision of timely information,” the paper said, adding that the government “could have done better than the sketchy statements broadcast on state radio – as almost everyone was left guessing”.
Former President Bakili Muluzi has called for a constitutional order and allows the Vice President Joyce Banda to assume the office of the President.