Malawi President Joyce Banda has called for a cabinet meeting this (Saturday) evening to, among others, discuss how the country will mourn the country’s departed leader Bingu wa Mutharika.
Her Excellency Mrs Banda said at a media briefing Saturday morning at her Area 12 residence in Lilongwe the meeting will focus on Mutharika’s death and subsequent funeral preparations.
While dodging the question on whether she has taken over government, Banda appealed to Malawians not to let themselves distract by who will lead the nation but rather put their attention on how the departed president will be mourned.
“I call upon all Malawians to remain calm and maintain peace during this mourning period,” said Banda flanked by several government officials sucha s Chief Secretary to the Cabinet and President Bright Msaka, Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhito, the Army Commander, Peter Odillo and Attorney General Maxson Mbendera.
The new leader also offered her sincere condolences to the First Lady Callista Mutharika, Peter Mutharika and the bereaved family following the loss of President Mutharika.
“We, as government, are in consultations with the bereaved family on funeral arrangements and when the body will arrive from South Africa,” she said.
The vice president also directed that all national flags must fly at half mast and that the public radio MBC and other private stations play sombre music.
The briefing was also attended by several cabinet ministers like Ephraim Mganda Chiume of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Sidik Mia of Transport and Public Works, John Bande of Trade and Industry, Ken Lipenga of Finance and Aaron Sangala of Defence.
Other notable people present at the briefing included former vice president and UDF parliamentarian Cassim Chilumpha, lawyer-cum-politician Ralph Kasambara, Uladi Mussa President of Maravi Peoples Party (MPP), MCP’s Henry Duncan Phoya and several members from the civil society.