Information Minister Patricia Kaliati has told members of the press that she regrets the remarks made earlier in the day by former President Bakili Muluzi and the State Vice President regarding the health condition of President Bingu wa Mutharika. She said the statement made by Rt. Hon Joyce Banda on succession were misleading to the nation as, according to her best knowledge, there is no vacancy in the presidency.
Hon Kaliati continued to say, even if it were so, Rt. Hon Banda cannot succeed wa Mutharika because she already left the ruling party and formed her own. She further said, if Rt Hon Joyce was indeed the country’s vice president; she could have gone to the hospital to visit Bingu wa Mutharika; a thing she never did.
Mrs Kaliati made these remarks in the company of five ministers in the name of Kondwani Nankhumwa, deputy for Foreign Affairs, Henry Musa for Local Government, Dr Jean Kalilani for Health, Vuwa Kaunda for Youth & Sports and Nicolas Dausi, deputy in President’s Office.
On the other hand, Mr Nankhumwa said the government will announce more details of the President’s condition tomorrow. He appealed for calm from Malawians.
However, this is in very sharp contrast with reports being monitored on international media which point to the fact that wa Mutharika died on Thursday April 5 2012 from a heavy heart attack and his body is in a South African hospital.
Foreign heads of missions to Malawi have so far visited Rt Hon Banda at her official residence in Lilongwe. Amongst them are Ambassadors of Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Norway, Germany and China.
The Vice President’s office is yet to make a formal reaction to this announcement by Mrs Kaliati and company. You will be updated