News / Africa

Malawi's President Weds

FILE - Newly elected Malawian President Peter Mutharika greets supporters after he was sworn in at the High Court in Blantyre, May 31, 2014.
FILE - Newly elected Malawian President Peter Mutharika greets supporters after he was sworn in at the High Court in Blantyre, May 31, 2014.
Lameck Masina
Malawi's new president, Peter Mutharika, has married his long-time girlfriend, former parliament member Gertrude Maseko. Mutharika lost his first wife 30 years ago, while Maseko and her first husband divorced 10 years ago.

Malawians braved cold weather on Saturday to gather outside the small church in Blantyre where the wedding ceremony took place.

Clad a in a grey suit, the 74-year-old president was the first to take the marriage vow. "I Peter Mutharika, do take thee, Gertrude Hendrina Maseko, to be my lawfully wedded wife… until God shall separate us by death.

After Maseko recited her vow, an officiating clergyman, the Reverend Rabson Chimkwezule, made the declaration. "I, the moderator of Blantyre Synod, therefore pronounce them to be the husband and the wife in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. What God has joined together, man must not separate.”

The relationship between President Mutharika and Maseko dates back to 2009.

He had been serving as education minister in the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, headed by his older brother, the late president Bingu wa Mutharika.  During this time, Maseko, now 54 years old, was a DPP member of parliament, a position she lost during the general elections held in May.

Mutharika has long been accused of being gay despite fathering three children with his first wife.  The accusation reached the boiling point in the run-up to last month’s election.

After Saturday's ceremony, Mutharika said the wedding had cleared up the “mysteries.”  He was speaking to an estimated 6,000 villagers and dignitaries who attended a reception at his home village in the southern district of Thyolo.
 
Many people in Malawi have hailed the wedding, saying this would help to smooth the new president's social and political life

The outgoing European Union ambassador to Malawi, Alexander Baum, congratulated Mutharika on getting married.  Baum spoke during his farewell party in the capital, Lilongwe.

“I see that his Excellency Peter Mutharika has accepted that behind every successful man there must be a woman,” he said.

The chairperson for the committee that organized the president’s wedding, Vice President Saulos Chilima, said the ceremony cost about $95,000, paid for by well-wishers.

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Comments
     
by: dyton lichapa from: southafrica
June 23, 2014 4:28 PM
I really luv wt u have done to show ur people gud picture and gud leader ship as apresdent wish u gud lucky and a gud leadership am one of ur son in southafrica

by: C Banda from: Malawi
June 23, 2014 12:50 AM
"Many people in Malawi have hailed the wedding".

On the other hand, most of us have not hailed it.

Most of us did not want Mutharika the Second to be President, 64% of us voting for other candidates. Most of us are wondering why the man did not get married before the election, and so save the country the expense of a state wedding disguised as a private one.

This article is worth a read:

http://www.maravipost.com/scope/muckracking-sunday/6309-muckracking-extra-ministry-of-well-wishers.html

by: sally kabui peter from: kenya
June 22, 2014 11:52 AM
Congratulations President Mutharika on your wedding day.I wish you all the best in all that you have in store with your wife.May God bless you and keep you,May God make His face to shine upon you,and be gracious to you and give you Peace.

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