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Blantyre, Malawi - The sudden death of Malawi president Bingu wa Mutharika last year was caused by cardiac arrest, an inquiry ruled Wednesday, hoping to lay to rest speculation that he may have been killed.
“The president died on April 5 after irregular beating of his heart resulted in cardiac arrest,” said the inquiry, which was appointed by President Joyce Banda shortly after her predecessor died at the age of 78.
“He had a history of heart attacks, having suffered a minor heart attack in 2009,” said retired judge Elton Singini, who president the report to Banda.
The inquiry also found that Mutharika died in an ambulance on the way to hospital after collapsing at State House at 11:10 am.
A veil of secrecy was thrown around his death, with his body flown to South Africa, sparking rumours that he was still alive.
His death was confirmed two days later.
Some reports had suggested that he died in South Africa.
Banda, who was Mutharika's deputy, was sworn in on April 7, after backroom dealings.
Mutharika had groomed former foreign affairs minister Peter Mutharika, his brother, as heir apparent. - Sapa-AFP