Mutharika to be buried next to wife

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Malawi's late president Bingu wa Mutharika will be buried on April 23 at his Ndata Farm in the southern tea-growing district of Thyolo.

He will be buried in a mausoleum he constructed for his first wife, Ethel, who died of cancer in 2007 aged 64.

“The president had already instructed his family members that he should be buried at Ndata Farm when he dies so we cannot go against his wishes,” said Local Government Minister Henry Mussa who is chairing Mutharika’s funeral committee.

Mussa said the remains of the 78-year-old economist-turnedpolitician were scheduled to be flown back to Malawi from SA yesterday.

His body will lie in state at the official New State House in Lilongwe today for family and friends to say goodbye before it is taken to the Parliament building in the city tomorrow to allow other Malawians to pay their respects.

On Wednesday his body will be flown to the northern city of Mzuzu and then flown to Blantyre on Thursday to lie in state for another two days.

Mutharika’s remains will be taken to his Ndata Farm next Sunday for burial.

Mutharika built the controversial multi-million dollar multi-roomed Ndata Farm House soon after taking the reins of power in 2004. When his first wife died in 2006 he constructed what he named Mpumulo wa Bata (Peaceful Rest) on the grounds of the farm.

Malawians dubbed the ostentatious multi-million dollar mausoleum the Taj Mahal.

He created a room for himself beside his wife of 37 years. Together they had four grown up children.

Mutharika later remarried, this time his former tourism minister Callista Chimombo in April 2010. The new First Lady had two of her own children from her first marriage.

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