BLANTYRE--Seven African presidents from Benin, Mozambique, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe will be among the top dignitaries to bury Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika on Monday, April 23, which has been declared a public holiday.
Local government minister Henry Mussa, who heads a cabinet committee on the funeral, confirmed of the coming of the African presidents.
Mutharika, who died on April 5 in Malawi after suffering a heart attack and was flown to South Africa for his body to be embalmed and to dignify the death.
A former secretary general of the Common Market for East and southern Africa (COMESA), a regional trade grouping, Mutharika also served as chairman of the African Union (AU).
The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) said in statement the public holiday is to "give the former president a dignified and honourable state funeral and many Malawians an opportunity to attend the funeral ceremony."
While thousands showed up to view his remains, many in many people blame Mutharika for his poor economic and governance policies - after winning reelection in 2009 - that led to an economic meltdown and suppression of basic freedoms.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment