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African Leaders, Other Dignitaries Pay Tribute To Malawian President

At last, the remains of the former Malawian President who succumbed to the cold hands of death via cardiac arrest was committed to mother earth, next to his first wife Ethel, in a white marble mausoleum.
He gave up the ghost on April 5, 2012, in spite of the spirited battle put up by a team of medical doctors to save his life, at the intensive care unit of a Lilongwe hospital.
According to the British Broadcasting Corporation report, Mutharika was born to a Malawian school master with the names: Ryson Webster Thom in 1934.
All of those names changed, during the 1960s when Pan-Africanism swept across the continent of Africa. He personally bore the names Bingu Wa Mutharika, which stock since then.
It would be recalled that Mutharika led Malawi from 2004 until his exit early this month. It was the belief that he brought stability to his country, Malawi.
BBC further reported that over the past week, his body was laid in state in the capital, Lilongwe, the northern city of Mazuzu and the commercial city of Blantyre, where thousands more have paid their respects to the fallen hero.
Though Malawi’s new President, Joyce Banda led mourners to the funeral, the BBC also confirmed that alongside Mutharika’s brother Peter, who also is Malawi’s foreign minister, Callista Chapola Chimombo, Mutharika’s widow/second wife led the visiting African leaders, as they paid their respects at the open casket of the former President, who was a church going Catholic.
It would also be recalled that the then Vice-President, Ms Joyce Banda, was sworn in shortly after the demise of the former President.
Although the process of succession was enshrined in the country’s constitution, her assumption of the Office of the Presidency of Malawi was not without challenges, horse trading and compromises. Not quite long before the demise of the president, Malawi witnessed a violent protest by its citizens who accused the President, Mutharika of nepotism and mismanagement of Malawi’s economy.
This scenario was fuelled by a bitter power struggle caused by intraparty feud, within the President’s Democratic Progressive Party.
Now that Ms Joyce Banda the new President is at the helms of affairs in Malawi, the African nation and the world is watching with keen interest, how she would steer the ship of the nation out of the economic woods.
All of these, come in the heels of the emerging facts, that the African Development Bank, (ADB) has agreed in principle to grant a $45m in budget financing to assist the incumbent President Ms. Joyce Banda, to enable her revive the country’s flagging economy. The cheering news was echoed by the current President of ADB, Donald Kaberuka in Washington DC, USA, recently.
Considering the fact that Malawi was rated as one of the poorest countries of the world with 75% of its entire population having less than $1 a day, this life-line from ADB, is timely, and would go a long way, if well managed to steer Malawi out of her present economic doldrums. ###

Azuka Dibie

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