Visiting Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli on Wednesday visited and laid wreath at the statue of former president Bingu wa Mutharika at Parliament Building in Lilongwe.
Magufuli, who is visiting Malawi for the first time since he became Tanzania’s president in 2015, arrived in the country earlier in the day through Kamuzu International Airport where he was welcomed by President Peter Mutharika.
He, together with Tanzania’s First Lady Janet Magufuli, laid wreaths at the recently unveiled K180 million statue of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika at the entrance to the National Assembly precincts ,but his grave is at Mpumulo wa Bata Mausoleum in Thyolo.
The programme was organised by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation but they did not let Magufuli to pay tribute to founding Malawi president Kamuzu Banda whose Mausoleum is in the capital city centre.
The Tanzanian leader is set to have bilateral talks with Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace amid an unresolved Lake Malawi border dispute between the two countries.
According to a statement issued by inistry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Principal Secretary Ben Botolo, two Heads of State and Government will lead in the bilateral talks between Malawi and Tanzania “on thematic areas aimed at strengthening the cordial relations between the two countries.”
Mugufuli will be hosted to a State banquet at Kamuzu Palace later in the evening.
The Tanzanian leader’s schedule includes opening of the 2019 Tobacco Marketing Season at Lilongwe Floors this Thursday.
In the four years he has been at the helm in Tanzania, Magufuli has been revered in Malawi for his bold leadership tough stance in fighting corruption and abuse of public resources.
Writing on her newspaper column, social and political commentator Emily Mkamanga, stated that Malawi leaders should emulate Magufuli of Tanzania “ who does what he says and shows steadfast political will. Malawian leaders should know that political motive is not political will”.