Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe has paid his tribute to the man he was so close and gave political advice, late Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika, calling him a “great son” of Africa.
According to the New Zimbabwe online, Mugabe said Mutharika, who died of a heart attack after collapsing on Thursday, had “dedicated his professional and political career to the cause of Africa, all the time searching for innovative ways and strategies for improving the condition of its deprived and marginalised peoples.”
“It is telling that the late departed who was also the outgoing chairman of the African Union, was due to host the continental body later this year in July, in spite of Malawi’s economic challenges,” Mugabe is quoted as saying.
His statement added: “Africa will miss its great son.”
Late Mutharika and Mugabe held secret talks on February 2 this year, in what Nyasa Times sources say were meant to “share notes” on how Mutharika, who was facing nationwide protest against his misrule, was going to fight dissent.
Mugabe said the two men “explored ways of defending our economies and countries against illegal sanctions imposed on us by the West.”
Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma urged Malawian people to “remain calm”.
He said South African reach out in their n thoughts and prayers to the people of Malawi “during this difficult time of mourning the death of President Mutharika.”