Zuma, Mugabe expected at Mutharika inauguration: UK, Spain offer congratulations

South Africa President Jacob Zuma and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe are some of the heads of state in the continent who are expected to arrive in Malawi Monday to attend the inauguration of Malawi’s fifth President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.

The inauguration will take place at Kamuzu Stadium in the commercial capital Blantyre.

One of the inaguration organisers Henry Mussa invitations ere sent to Heads of States band confirmation had been received from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Botswana among others.

President Peter Mutharika takes his oath of office alongside Chief Justice Anastansia Msosa
President Peter Mutharika takes his oath of office alongside Chief Justice Anastansia Msosa

During the ceremony, there will be a military parade followed by the handing over of the sword of honor, inaguration speech and then finally there shall be traditional dances. President Mutharika will also inspect a presidential guard of honor mounted by Malawi Defence Force.

Former Malawi president Bakili Muluzi, former vice presidents Justine Malewezi and Khumbo Kachali have also indicated they will be in attendance.

Outgoing president Joyce Banda was reported in Nkhatabay but it was not clear if she will attend the ceremony following the defeat in the polls.

Meanwhile, congratulations continue to pour on the new President with the latest from Spain and United Kingdom.

“The Government of Spain commends the peaceful tripartite elections held in Malawi this last 20th May. Spain congratulates Prof. Peter Mutharika on winning the 2014 presidential election and the people of Malawi for their turnout of the elections,” a statement made available to Nyasa Times by Spain’s Javier Domínguez Reguero.

Spain said it looks forward to working with President Mutharika” for a more prosperous Malawi with stable democratic institutions to tackle the economic and social challenges of the country.”

The UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds also offered congratulations to President Mutharika.

Britain however noted that the elections faced “many challenges.”

“I commend the Malawian people for their resilience and patience during this period and I congratulate Malawi’s politicians for allowing a peaceful transition of power. I call on all Malawians to unite to take Malawi forward in this the 50th year of Malawi’s independence,” said Simmonds in a statement.

He said the UK Government looks forward to working with President Mutharika and his Government “on our shared goals of strengthening Malawi’s democracy, food security, prosperity and its positive role within the region.”

Former foreign minister Peter Mutharika, the younger brother of president Bingu wa Mutharika who died in office in 2012, was sworn in on Saturday as the new president of Malawi after the election commission declared him the winner of the disputed polls.
The results of the fraught May 20 election were announced late on Friday after the high court blocked a last-ditch demand for a recount.

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