Government officials shun Bingu memorial service

Government officials were on Tuesday conspicuously missing from former president late Bingu wa Mutharika’s memorial service in Thyolo, raising concerns over deepening political rivalry between the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the ruling Tonse Alliance.
In Parliament, shadow minister of Information Mark Botomani asked why the government was not in attendance at the memorial service.
Minister of Tourism and Culture Michael Usi told the House that the government was not invited at the memorial service.

Chairperson of the organising committee of the memorial service, Francis Mphepo who is also administrative secretary of the DPP conceded in interview that government officials were not invited, saying the organising committee made an open invitation instead.
Former President Bakili Muluzi, UDF president Atupele Muluzi, Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa whose faction is labeled as rebels in the DPP and some low key UTM officials were in attendance.
The event has been graced by brother to the late Bingu, Peter Mutharika and his wife Gertrude.
Monsignor Bonface Tamani of the Catholic Church called on the opposition to be strong in making sure that government is held accountable; describing the current opposition as very weak.
Tamani told those in parliament not to be dubiously pocketing money from people in order to frustrate citizens they represent; saying that is doing injustice to Malawians.
He argues that if the opposition was strong enough all the issues that the recent pastoral letter raised could not have risen.
Former President and DPP leader Peter Mutharika said the party will bounce back in government come 2025 to continue with developmental projects.
He said once back in power, commodity prices will go down.
Mutharika said he is happy that people have been with his family even during their trying moments.
Also missing at the function was Mutharika’s widow Callista, who is in Kenya for ambassadorial duties.
She has, however, published a message in Tuesday’s daily papers in which she has narrated some events that happened before Bingu’s death.
“You left me in body, but in spirit we are together. I still romantically catch you in this blowing wind. You remain tangible in my warm arms,” part of the message says.
It adds that Bingu shared a visionary leadership with the world and that his love for the elderly was unparalleled.

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