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Report on Mutharika’s Death

15 March 2013

Malawi’s former president, Bingu wa Mutharika died suddenly of a heart attack almost a year ago, and only in the last week have we any detail on the events surrounding his death. A week ago, a report on the nature and circumstances surrounding his death commissioned by the current president, Joyce Banda, was released. The report is 105 pages long. And fascinating. There is a lot I could write about the report (and its aftermath), but life has made other demands on my time. Still, I’m sure many of haba na haba‘s readers would be interested in seeing the report in its entirety.

As I read it, I had a few questions:

  • How could the president’s personal physician not have the phone number of a doctor at the country’s major hospital in his cell phone?
  • Why would you advise someone to torture the body of your brother when it is impossible that such actions would produce any positive change? And how long after you learn of your brother’s death does one wait before machinating for power? To me, these two questions are strongly interrelated.
  • Was it public knowledge that Mutharika had a heart attack in 2009? I don’t remember learning of that in researching a paper on transitions in Africa (that focused primarily on Mutharika).
  • Why ask to embalm him for 100 years?
  • Finally, why the name Daniel Phiri?

I’m curious to hear what readers think of the report.


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