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Family Members: No Need for Inquiry Into Late Malawian President’s Death

  • James Butty

Former Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika

Former Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika

Malawian President Joyce Banda says the investigation into the death of former President Bingu wa Mutharika will go ahead despite disapproval by the former president’s family.

Mr. Mutharika died in April this year after suffering a heart attack. Malawi's information minister, Moses Kunkuyu says President Banda wants many questions answered, including why there were three different signs of date of death.

“We are looking at the late Mutharika as a person who has been president of the Republic of Malawi not as a family man. Government is concerned and government needs to know because Mr. Mutharika was a head of state,” he said.

President Banda announced Thursday the government also wanted answers to several concerns, including whether the former president received enough first aid after his cardiac arrest.

“The president is not taking sides, but she wants the truth to be known because, as you know, no clear details are at hand on the death of the former president,” information Minister Kunkuyu said.

Former Malawian foreign minister and brother of the late president, Peter Mutharika described the investigation as “nonsensical”. He says the family is satisfied with the medical report that President Mutharika died from cardiac arrest.

“There are many presidents who have died in many countries. How many times has there been an inquiry by the government? Can you think of any case in Africa? This inquiry is nonsensical, and as head of the family I believe it is useless, it’s a waste of time,” Mutharika said.

Mutharika says if the Malawian government really wants to know how the former president died, it should speak to the attending physician at State House and the hospital.

“Let them find out from the doctor what happened to the president and what happened when he was taken to the hospital. The attending physician can give them all that information. There is need to have a commission inquiry to do that,” Mutharika said.

He said while the late Mutharika was president Malawi, he was also a family person, and the family is satisfied that the president died from cardiac arrest.

“If the family is satisfied, why is the government still interested in pursuing this? Why are they so persisting on having this inquiry? What’s their motive? What are they trying to establish?”

Information Minister Kunkuyu said members of the late president’s family must tell the commission what they know about his death. He denied the Banda was engaged in a witch hunt against the late president’s family and former officials.