Malawi president dead - government sources

2012-04-06 09:17

Lilongwe - Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has died after a heart attack, medical and government sources said on Friday.

The 78-year-old was rushed to a Lilongwe hospital on Friday after collapsing but was dead on arrival, the sources said.

On Thursday, Mutharika was "very critical" after a heart attack and was being flown to South Africa for treatment, a minister said.

A Reuters reporter in Lilongwe witnessed chaotic scenes as the 78-year-old leader's wife, Calista, and senior cabinet ministers left the capital's Kamuzu Central Hospital, where Mutharika was admitted on Thursday after collapsing.

"There was panic," one hospital staffer said. "We have never been prepared for such an eventuality. He suffered a cardiac arrest and the condition is still unstable."

Despite Mutharika's condition, there was little sympathy on the streets of Blantyre, the commercial capital, where many people view him as an autocrat who has mishandled the economy, causing chronic shortages of fuel, food and foreign exchange.

Mutharika, a former World Bank economist, came to power in 2004 and presided over a seven-year economic boom - underpinned by foreign aid and some favourable rains - that made it one of one of the world's fastest-growing countries.

However, the growth came to a juddering halt last year after a dispute with Britain led to tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions and a freezing of millions of dollars of aid.

The move by Malawi's biggest donor exacerbated an already acute dollar shortage, hampering imports of fuel, food and medicines, and leading to a depreciation in the currency, the kwacha, against the dollar.

Mutharika's diplomatic isolation and economic plight worsened in July 2011 when the US shelved a $350m programme to overhaul the dilapidated power grid after police killed 20 people in a crackdown on an unprecedented wave of anti-government protests.

  • Mavhungu Vincent - 2012-04-06 09:21

    May his soul rest in peace.

      Francois - 2012-04-06 10:21

      Assegai, Malawi never had struggle for freedom and never saw war. It was a British Protectorate and the British did in fact very little in the country itself, it was granted independence in 1963 along with the country that is now known as Zambia. Thus can you please inform if you meant the president of Malawi in your post as he was not a freedom fighter or if you mentioned someone else, what the relevance to this article is?

      Assegai - 2012-04-06 10:41

      @Francois. he was a staunch supporter of Mugabe......say no more!

      Kevin - 2012-04-06 11:03

      Assegai, he was never a freedom fighter. There was no war. He was worse he was aworld bank employee who thought in his old age that knew everything.

      Assegai - 2012-04-06 11:38

      @Kevin. My remarks refer to Africa in general and more importantly to an older generation lacking education and understanding of world economics.

      Tafiska - 2012-04-06 12:09

      Hehehehe Kevin , the british did what ? Please write when you are well informed . The schools I went to were built by Banda , including the airports . Kamuzu international airport . Despite being a dictator , he encouraged agriculture and education . I wonder what ships you are talking about . Ilala ? Please Kevin the British walked out of Nyasaland having done nothing . They built churches PERIOD !!!

      Francois - 2012-04-07 00:06

      Francois,you write rubbish.(I'll take it as a compliment coming from Kevin, it says more about him than about me.) Nyasaland as it was known was never a protectorate. It was colony and to say the British did very little in the country is patent rubbish. Okay if you did not fight the British when your country was a colony, that makes you a freedom fighter - some logic in that, thank you.) They stopped the rampant slave trade by Arabs. They introduced tea, tobacco and sugar which today form the backbone of the economy. They developed hospitals, schools, a road system, built airports, developed an airline and put ships on Lake Malawi to assist with transport. They forced the proposed federation between what was then Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia to accept Nyasaland as the third partner because the British were trying get out of the financial responsibility of Nyasaland. (You said it - oops let me quote - the British were trying to get out the financial responsibility of Nyasaland, but you just said that they built this prosperous country - something does not add up).Fact is Malawi is still one of the least developed countries in the world and one of the poorest. Assegai, as for stating opposition to henchmen and dictators, whatever there schooling was or was not, I am absolutely with you. The fact that Malawi sides with Mugabe, like most of Sadec, is a big problem for all in Sadec and probably the least for Malawi,not even the Zimmers want to necessarily go there.

  • Bongani - 2012-04-06 09:23

    Well well well...

  • Ebrima Leigh - 2012-04-06 09:31

    May his soul rest in perfect peace

  • Lusani - 2012-04-06 09:32

    The Malawian president passd away and South African SAMHS and other Medics were ready to help as da president was under serious condition. May the president rest in peace.

  • Tafiska - 2012-04-06 09:34


  • Sonja - 2012-04-06 09:43

    never heard of him....but ive heard Malawi is the worlds poorest country, failed state.

  • mndaza - 2012-04-06 09:47


  • Joyous - 2012-04-06 09:51

    Malawi, then Uganda, then Zimbabwe and then \r\nSOUTH AFRICA! A continent free of dictators and CORRUPTION.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOuch

  • Thabo - 2012-04-06 09:57

    May his soul rest in peace.

  • Gibbaan - 2012-04-06 10:00

    Damn. For a moment I thought the heading read \Zimbabwean president dead\

  • Benson - 2012-04-06 10:14

    we need confirmation millions of people will be disappointed if he is not dead! please confirm the good news of his death. may GOD forgive me for this but this man has put Malawi on a high way to hell...

  • nibishaka - 2012-04-06 10:18

    yet he was the one busy jailing opponents who wanted him to leave power. now he leaves everything. rip

  • simbarashe.kwangwari - 2012-04-06 10:18

    R.I.P His excellency

  • munyololom - 2012-04-06 10:30

    Let this drastic situation be a lesson to everyone. The death of the president of Malawi is a big shock to many but again let it not be a subject of mockery against other African countries. What other African countries are going through is beyond imagination. Whatsoever you possess in your country must not make you arrogant toward others. Africa is at a turning point where these kind of death are more likely to happen so that Africa can experience true democracy and freedom. I am not saying that the late president was undemocratic but what I am saying is everyone must get ready for a drastic change in Africa and for Africans. After all this Africa will be a Leading continent. May the soul of our leader rest in peace.

  • Promise Dube - 2012-04-06 10:37

    Thts da reality of lyf as no meta hw much money or power u hv,u cn nt prevail ova death.

  • Ngaka - 2012-04-06 10:53

    Condolenscences to the family.MoAfrika has done his bit...We were still hoping for more from this husband,father,uncle,son,president,brother and so forth, but as in many instances death has extinguished those hopes.

      Kevin - 2012-04-06 11:05

      What more electricty blackouts, less fuel, worse currency shortages and fewer jobs?

  • itao11 - 2012-04-06 11:10

    For weeks BOB was scared to death since the announcement by TB Joshua. God has his own timing, UNCLE BOB be assured your turn will come just like Bingu's time was up. No one is mighter than death. Rest in peace Bingu and let the Malawians forge ahead with their life. May the Lord, God bless MALAWI. UNCLE BOB, a friendly advice step down or appoint someone else to lead the country before people celebrate on your passing.

  • Noel - 2012-04-06 11:32

    May ur soul rest in peace ur Excellence. I loved u bt God loves u so much

  • rmmoja - 2012-04-06 11:38

    Rest in peace bingu

  • Blip - 2012-04-06 12:20

    Malawi medical services must be truly primitive if they have to fly their own president to SA to be treated for a routine heart attack...

  • Maphuri - 2012-04-06 12:34

    may ur soul rest in peace,u died solidering on,we'll always remember u.

  • - 2012-04-06 14:51

    Say hi to uncle Hestings Banda, May Your Souls Rest In Peace.

  • - 2012-04-06 15:00

    Rest in Peace Bingu, they celebrate your death because of what you stood for.

      andy.mwale3 - 2012-04-06 18:38

      Celebration is allover MALAWIAN People where ever there are, because we were waiting,who can take this poor in mind BINGU.we are all praying for his DEATH to be true.Death will be like Moses to malawian taking us from Egypt to Islael.

  • Michael McN - 2012-04-06 16:36

    This article is confusing. It says the president was dead on arrival at a hospital in Lilongwe Friday after being transported to South Africa for medical attention Thursday following the heart attack. I hope it's just an error. Flying the president to South Africa for treatment seems reasonable but if that doesn't work, rushing him back to Lilongwe for treatment would be pointless. Why not let the doctors in South Africa pronounce him dead, if indeed he was not dead on arrival there? Or does this story suffer because of many lies being told to the press so that you are not clear which story to believe?

  • smwandira - 2012-04-06 17:37

    I think they r uncomfirmed reports. I will comment after the cornfirmation.

  • Miriam - 2012-04-06 17:59

    God be wit his famly and the pple of mlw drng dis tryng tm. Wipe our tears. God be our comfter. Thank u god. U r god of evryting.

  • Fletcher - 2012-04-06 18:48

    Kapumene baba

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