President Robert Mugabe has arrived in Malawi where he will attend the burial of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika set for this Monday, the 23rd of April. Armando #Guebuza of Mozambique has also just arrived

In Malawi for Wa Mutharika's burial

The President and his delegation were received at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre by officials from the Zimbabwean Embassy in Malawi and senior Malawian government officials.

Speaking to journalists soon after his arrival, President Mugage said the untimely death of President Wa Mutharika was a shock to him, the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and to the entire nation.

He said President Wa Mutharika’s death is a blow both to the people of Malawi and Zimbabwe as the two countries have strong cordial relations.

President Mugabe, who is accompanied by the First Lady Grace Mugabe; Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and other senior government officials, left Harare this Sunday afternoon and was seen off the Harare International Airport by Vice President Joice Mujuru, service chiefs and other government officials.

He will join other African Heads of State and Government, who are expected in Malawi to bid farewell to President Wa Mutharika, who died of heart attack on the 5th this Month.

He was 78.

According to some international news cable networks, Malawi has declared Monday a national holiday, with seven African Heads of State including President Mugabe expected to attend Wa Mutharika’s burial ceremony.

Malawian Local Government Minister, who heads the funeral preparations, Mr Henry Mussa was quoted confirming that new President Joyce Banda’s office declared April 23 a public holiday to give Malawian people an opportunity to attend the funeral ceremony.

The body of the late Wa Mutarika is lying in state at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre as thousands of Malawians continue to pay their last respects.

The body will be taken to Wa Mtharika’s Ndata Farm in his home district of Thyolo for burial on Monday.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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