Mutharika remains to arrive on Saturday

The body of late president Bingu wa Mutharika will arrive back home in Malawi on Saturday April 14 at the Kamuzu International Airport, according to government.

Mutharika was taken to South Africa on April 5 clinically dead after he suffered a fatal heart attack and had to be embalmed there.

Chairperson of the committee to oversee the state funeral arrangements, Local Government Ministry Henry Mussa confirmed the body will arrive back home on Saturday.

Late Bingu wa Mutharika

President Joyce Banda told a presser in Lilongwe that Mussa briefed Her Excellency on arrangements for the State Funeral.

“I have been talking to Professor Peter Mutharika and this morning I met him and I received further briefing from the bereaved family on funeral arrangements,” said President Banda at the news conference which was monitored on private radio Zodiak.

The President also confirmed that burial would take place on April 23, 2011 at Mutharika’s sprawling Ndata farm in Thyolo.

Mutharika’s first wife Ethel, who died three years ago, is also buried at the farm.

There are plans to have Mutharika’s body lie in state for public viewing in commercial city of Blantyre, the capital Lilongwe and the northern city of Mzuzu.

Government officials said the programme, which will comprise inter-denominational prayers and choirs, will be presided over by the church in conjunction with Government.

President Banda has urged the public that, during the period of mourning, only solemn music should be played on all radio and television station.

The national flag is already flying at half mast as President Banda appealed to the public to mourn the loss of Mutharika with decorum, unity and dignity.

Nyasa Times correspondents say business is continuing as usual, although the country is in a state of mourning.

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