News / Africa

Malawi President Mutharika to Marry Fiancée Saturday

Newly elected Malawian President Arthur Peter Mutharika delivers a speech during his official inauguration as Malawi's new President, at the Kamuzu stadium in Blantyre on June 2, 2014.
Newly elected Malawian President Arthur Peter Mutharika delivers a speech during his official inauguration as Malawi's new President, at the Kamuzu stadium in Blantyre on June 2, 2014.
Peter Clottey
Malawi’s newly elected head of state is set to marry on Saturday. President Peter Mutharika will wed his longtime fiancée Gertrude Maseko, a former parliamentarian, at a private ceremony according to Peter Mukhito, co-chairman of the presidential wedding organizing committee.

The couple and some of their “well-wishers” are expected to fund the wedding, after Mutharika ordered government officials to ensure that no state funds are used to organize the nuptial ceremony.

Mukhito said foreign dignitaries, members of the diplomatic corps, friends of the couple and residents of the region Mutharika hails from have been invited to be guests at the wedding this weekend.

“The wedding would be officiated here in Blantyre and after a reception will follow at Ndata Farm,” said Mukhito. “The bill is being footed by the president himself and some well-wishers. In fact, His Excellency has directed that no government money should be used on this wedding…we have religiously followed the directive from the president that no government money should be used for the wedding.”

Mutharika, 74, is a widower with two daughters and a son. He was however accused of being gay during the run up to last month’s general election.

Mukhito rejected the accusation as baseless.

“I think those very much came from ill-minded competitors, and the truth is the president was married and that those children came from his previous marriage,” said Mukhito. “What he is trying to do is actually to formalize and set a good example bringing in the first lady for the nation. So that is exactly what the president is trying to do.”

Some analysts have hailed Mutharika’s wedding, saying this would help to smooth his social and political life as the country’s leader.

This is the second time a Malawian president is marrying while in office. The first to do so was deceased president Bingu WA Mutharika, who married Callista Chimombo, a former minister of tourism in 2010. WA Mutharika was the elder brother of current President Mutharika.

Critics argue that some amount of state funds would be used during the wedding ceremony since the state broadcaster, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation would be using state resources to cover the event. They also contend that President Mutharika will have the state’s machinery – including security – at his disposal during the wedding ceremony, which they said is still an expensive cost to the taxpayer.

But Mukhito disagreed, saying Mutharika remains the country’s president even during his private wedding.

“There is a thin line between the president and his private life. So it could be as a president there could be others that could come as normal services to the state president,” said Mukhito. “But the actual planning, the execution and the wedding itself, all the items that would be enjoyed in this wedding is directly, being financed by the president and the well-wishers.”
Clottey interview with Peter Mukhito, co-chairman, president's wedding group
Clottey interview with Peter Mukhito, co-chairman, president's wedding groupi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 21, 2014 5:22 AM
I beg your pardon the writer, are you saying that Peter is the second president to wed while in Office? What about the first democratically elected president Muluzi? Are you deliberately forgeting or you were then in pre school that you hardly new what is going on in this country? Mr writer sir, verify your content before publishin it because Malawians are no longer in the state how our founding President Banda found. I beg you to re write your article. I beg to move and rest my case

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs