|President Mugabe mourns Malawi’s Bingu wa Mutharika|
|Saturday, 07 April 2012 19:26|
In a condolence message yesterday, Cde Mugabe said the Malawian leader dedicated his professional and political career to the cause of the continent and spent a great deal of time seeking ways to uplift Africans.
He said Zimbabwe was working to concretise Dr Mutharika’s wish for Harare to help Malawi with fuel supply and storage.
“A colleague, a dear brother and a close comrade, President wa Mutharika dedicated his professional and political career to the cause of Africa, all the time searching for innovative ways and strategies for improving the condition of its deprived and marginalised peoples.
“His innovative agricultural programmes for fighting hunger and for improving rural incomes will forever stand as a spectacular example, on our continent, of people-centred leadership.
“Equally, Africa shall forever remember Bingu’s pan-African dedication to enlarging possibilities for our continent’s self-determination through greater sub-regional unity, integration and harmonised planning. It is telling that the late departed, who was also the outgoing chairman of the African Union, was due to host the continental body later this year in July, in spite of Malawi’s economic challenges. Africa will miss its great son.”
Cde Mugabe said he and Dr wa Mutharika considered ways of defending Zimbabwe and Malawi from illegal Western economic sanctions during the latter’s visit to Harare in February. He said the late Malawian leader served Sadc and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) with unparalleled dedication.
“His untimely death touched me in the most personal way. Only two months ago, early this February, I had the privilege of hosting the late President in Harare. Together we explored ways of defending our economies and countries against illegal sanctions imposed on us by the West. He wanted Zimbabwe to help Malawi with fuel supply and storage. Sadly, he passed on at a time when our two countries were just beginning to concretise his wish on this one matter which had exercised his mind greatly.
“Two years ago in 2010 I was part of the Sadc leadership privileged to witness his happy wedding to Callista, following the death of his first wife and my compatriot, Ethel, in 2007. Today, Callista stands widowed, her loving husband having been called so unexpectedly by his God. My wife and I share in her deep grief.
“We in Zimbabwe join them in mourning the passing on of this cadre of Africa. Bingu will be sorely missed by Africa, especially so by all of us in Sadc and Comesa, the two sub-regional groupings he served with unsurpassed dedication. May his soul rest in eternal peace.” President wa Mutharika suffered cardiac arrest on Thursday and was taken to South Africa for treatment. The Malawi government officially announced his death yesterday and declared 10 days of national mourning. Online reports yesterday said
Vice-President Banda was later sworn in. Vice-President Banda appealed for calm, adding that the constitution would be followed. In terms of Malawi’s constitution, the Vice-President takes over until the next election.