Malawi’s former first lady Callista Mutharika and children of her late husband, former president Bingu wa Mutharika, verbally fought on Thursday at their private home Ndata Palace in Thyolo and police were called to help.

Southern Region Police spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa confirmed the verbal fight, but said police have withdrawn from the matter and asked the warring sides to sort out their differences as a family.

Gondwa said Callista last weekend went to Mikolongwe Police to lodge a complaint that her stepchildren; Duwa, Tapiwa and Madalitso, were disturbing her by holding parties at the multimillion kwacha palace when she was still mourning her husband.

Gondwa said police ignored the complaint and did not go after assessing that it was a family matter, but when she sent a driver again to Mikolongwe Police to seek protection, police decided to go to establish what was going on.

Well-placed sources at Mikolongwe Police Unit disclosed police discovered that late Mutharika’s children, Tapiwa, Duwa and Madalitso, wanted to change locks to have access to the palace’s bedrooms, saying it was property of their late father.

The children also demanded that the former first lady leave the palace.

But Callista, sources said, protested and told them it was part of her husband’s deceased’s estate and had a right to stay there.

Police sources at Mikolongwe Police and Limbe Police Station said the three children went to the palace and told the former first lady that Ndata was their father’s property and they had a right to have access to each and every room. They wanted to change the locks whose keys Callista is keeping.

The police sources said upon arrival at the palace on Thursday, police found a heated argument between the former first lady and her stepchildren.

“Madalitso and the former first lady lost their tempers to the extent that Madalitso advanced towards her, but police intervened and pushed Madalitso away. Later, Madalitso drove to Mikolongwe Police and lodged a complaint that he had been mishandled by police,” said the sources.

Another well-placed source at Limbe Police, where the matter was referred to, said the three children on Thursday evening went to Limbe Police where they demanded that the former first lady must leave Ndata Palace.

Gondwa said the four have been advised by police to resolve the issue as a family.

Police sources said Callista and Mutharika’s children have been at loggerheads since the death of Mutharika in April.

Efforts to talk to the family members proved futile.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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