Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika today (February 24) turns 78 and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members joined the First Family in celebrating his life.
Loyalists lavished praise on Mutharika on his birthday against the backdrop of a crippling economic crisis and governance concerns.
Mutharika is likely to mark his birthday with a private family dinner.
According to a book the President wrote in 1999 titled ‘One Malawi Our Nation — Background to the formation of the United Party’, Mutharika, formerly Brightson Webster Ryson Thom was born at Chisoka F.P School, Kamoto village, TA Chimaliro in Thyolo district on February 24, 1934.
Mutharika wrote in the book that he adopted the name ‘Bingu Mutharika’ in 1963.
Speaking ahead of his birthday, Mutharika hinted that his longer life was down to his healthy lifestyle and that he does not take alcohol and is a non-smoker.
“I neither drink beer nor smoke,” he said in remarks aired on state radio and television last week.
“In fact, I don’t consume anything that may damage my body,” Mutharika said.
Many people still believed Mutharika takes whisky but he stressed: “I am telling you what I do. I cannot lie to you.”
His political comrade Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe who celebrated his 88th birthday on also shared similar statement that his good health was down to his healthy lifestyle – getting up at 0500 to do his exercises and eating well.
“There are things one must do for oneself. Don’t drink at all, don’t smoke, you must exercise and eat vegetables and fruit,” he said, according to AP news agency.
Both Mutharika and Mugabe have been subject of health rumours but they all claim to be in robust health despite their advanced age.
The Malawian tyranny has come under a barrage of criticism from human rights watchdogs, donors, the faith community and the media as they have expressed worry that his rule is not only worrisome but extremely undemocratic.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :