LILONGWE—The remains of President Bingu wa Mutharika will be brought home from South Africa on Saturday and not on Thursday, according to a foreign affairs official.
No reason was given for the change.
There are plans to bury Mutharika on April 23, Malawi's new president Joyce Banda said on Tuesday.
But the date wasn’t set in stone, she added.
“I met Professor Peter Mutharika this morning and we are taking into account issues the family wants,” Banda said. Peter is Bingu's younger brother and current foreign affairs minister.
Banda said Minister of Health Jean Kalirani had travelled to South Africa to finalise arrangements to bring the dead body home.
Mutharika died from a heart attacke last Thursday. The government had said he would be airlifted to South Africa for treatment but hospital and government sources in Malawi said the president was already dead when he was taken to a South African military hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Sources now say Mutharika's remains were taken to South Africa to be embalmed.
A foreign affairs official has told MaraPost a South African military plane will fly home Mutharika’s remains.
Mutharika's body will lie in state in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre before burial at his Ndata Farm in Thyolo where his first wife Ethel, who died in 2007, is also buried.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment