Malawians Bury Late President Mutharika Monday

The late Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika (File 2010).
The late Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika (File 2010).


  • Listen to Butty interview with Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu

James Butty

The late President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, will be laid to rest Monday in his home district next to his first wife, and former first lady Ethel.

Mutharika ruled Malawi from 2004 until his death in April this year following a heart attack.

Four African presidents have arrived in the Malawian commercial capital, Blantyre, for the burial. They include Namibia’s Hipikepunye Pohamba, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki, and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu said Malawians will give their late president a dignified burial.

“We intend to give our former head of state a very dignified burial.  For the past three weeks, we have had the body in all the regions of the country where people have had the opportunity to pay their last respects.  And, today is when we are having the burial.  We have a number of foreign dignitaries, heads of state,” he said.

Kunkuyu said Malawi’s new president, Joyce Banda, who had been critical of Mutharika and was expelled from the ruling party, has been leading the national mourning period.

He said Malawians are united when it comes to honoring their former president in death.

“As you may be aware, it is the president who is leading the nation in the whole mourning period of our former head of state, Professor Bingu wa Mutharika.  So, that is indicative that there is nothing like dissenting or having differences during a funeral,” Kunkuyu said.

The government has produced a “funeral cloth” costing about $126,000 to be distributed to mourners during the late president’s funeral.

Kunkuyu said the cloth shows uniformity among Malawians during their time of grief.

“We have to honor the departed leader, and we have to show uniformity in sorrow, and the only way of showing that we are together is to have that kind of uniform clothing,” he said.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs