Malawi’s former First Lady Calista Mutharika broke into tears during a memorial mass for late President Bingu wa Mutharika at Holy Ghost Parish in Ndirande, Blantyre as she narrated how her late husband’s treasured gold rosary got stolen immediately after his death.
Callista, who was guest of honor at the event, spoke for the first time about her late husband since he died of cardiac arrest last April.
Her revelation about the stolen gold rosary sent a shocking shivers that left the entire congregation numb with disbelief.
Clad in sparkling Amai achifundo’s purple and white uniform, Mutharika arrived at the church on a latest Discovery Land Rover vehicle with personalized number-plate BICA 1 (Bingu, Calista).
She was accompanied by former deputy minister and parliamentarian for Mulanje Limbuli, Olive Masanza and orphanage director Maria Ndasowa.
In her remarks, Callista called for love and forgiveness among Christians in the country.
“Bingu was a prayerful man. He prayed every morning when he woke up before his daily exercises and every night before going to bed.
“He used to have his rosary with him, but it went missing at the time he died. I don’t know who took it. So sad, very sad indeed,” lamented Mutharika while shading tears.
But the former first lady could not reveal the value of the rosary and where her late husband bought it.
National Police Spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo said the police were not aware about the theft of the gold rosary because family members never reported the matter to them.
Late Mutharika was a catholic and the former first lady, who had to cut short her speech for being so grieved, confessed that she was a Catholic by birth.
The visibly grief stricken Mutharika’s widow revealed that the former president knew he would die because of his old age and that he believed the existence of ‘purgatorial’.
“He would jokingly say that he was going to die before me. And he advised me to remember him through mass.
“People say a lot about Bingu. Some say good things, others say the contrary. No man is perfect, am not perfect either. The only thing we could do is to forgive and appreciate the good things people do in life,” said Mutharika.
She then urged Christians to emulate late Mutharika’s kind gesture of assisting the needy, saying she will continue to look after the orphans he adopted while in power.
“He used to share and help the needy. Every evening we had dinner with about 13 children including the adopted orphans. I believe in love among people, though I have shortfalls, but love overcomes evil. We have to pray for his soul to be accepted in God’s glory. Orphans, the needy, blue-collar workers all appreciate his kind gesture,” she added.
Speaking earlier, Father Donatos Akune revealed that during his visit to the parish in April 2011, late Mutharika donated K12 million that was used for various development projects including buying chairs, iron sheets and constructing church hall.
“The money helped us a lot. We will never forget what late Mutharika did for us. His soul lives on and we are with him in prayers. The mass prayer signifies our honor to him,” he said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) interim president, Professor Peter Mutharika failed to turn up at the event and the former first lady attributed it to his arrest last Monday and the subsequent charges of treason before his bail on Thursday.
Next month, the DPP is expected to hold memorial mass for late Mutharika days before holding the much anticipated national convention in Lilongwe to elect new executive committee members as well as 2014 presidential candidate with young Mutharika tipped to carry the day.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :