Malawian late President Bingu Wa Mutharika came to Zimbabwe in February to buy anti-riot gear for his police force and to ask his ally President Robert Mugabe advice on to tackle problems bedevilling his country which were similar to what Harare experienced in the past years, it has emerged.
Mutharika, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest in Lilongwe early this month following a prophecy by Nigerian prophet TB Joshua that an African leader will suddenly die, came to Harare in an unannounced visit on February 4 this year.
A senior government official said Mutharika asked Mugabe for advice and for the veteran leader to supply riot gear and train police on how to handle riots.
“President Mutharika came for advice in Harare in February. He asked the government of Zimbabwe to supply Malawi with anti-riot equipment that include teargas canisters, truncheons and riot gear,” the source said.
“As you are aware Malawi was facing the same problems that Zimbabwe had been facing. In short he asked Mugabe on how he has been able to prevent riots over the years and how to prevent people from demonstrating without the police reacting by shooting people dead.”
Malawi like Zimbabwe the past five years is facing food shortages while motorists are queuing for fuel whilst high inflation has hit the Kwacha.
Mutharika a respected economist during his days at the World Bank managed to help Malawi economy boom in his first years in power but as time went on he began to develop dictatorial tendencies that resulted in deadly riots in the southern Africa’s poorest country.
Malawi police shot dead 19 people for going into the streets to demand better living conditions. Mutharika has been replaced by Joice Banda as President in Malawi, a woman she had kicked out of his party in-order to groom his brother Peter to succeed him.