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article imageMalawi's president reported dead

By Amanda Payne     Apr 6, 2012 in World
Confusion over exactly what has happened to the President of Malawi continues as media outlets such as Reuters and AFP are now quoting sources as saying that he is dead following the cardiac arrest he suffered yesterday April 5.
As reported in Digital Journal, President Bingu wa Mutharika, 78, was rushed to Lilongwe hospital after he collapsed during a meeting with a member of parliament. It's what happened next that is the source of the confusion. So far, there has been no official statement from the Malawian government but doctors and cabinet ministers have told the BBC that the president died almost immediately after arriving at the hospital. Sources told the BBC that the President's body was taken to South Africa whilst ministers had an all night meeting to try and decide what to do next.
The Guardian reports that sources are telling them that the President is being treated at Millpark Hospital in Johannesburg and that the president was still alive when he arrived in South Africa.
South African newspaper Times Live reports that the President died in the hospital in Lilongwe and that his body was transferred to South Africa to be embalmed. The paper said:
"Neither the South African government nor hospital officials in Johannesburg could comment on Mutharika, saying only Malawi's government was authorised to speak about the president."
The confusion over whether or not the President is dead is down to the succession. In law, the Vice President, Joyce Banda should take the President's place as head of state. However, the president's brother, Peter, currently Malawi's Foreign Affairs Minister has been groomed by the President as his successor.
President Bingu wa Mutharika has become increasingly unpopular in Malawi in recent years as the economy, which during his first years after election improved and increased, has taken a downward slide with many Malawians blaming the President's policies.
Police are on the streets of the main cities and the army has been placed in position around Joyce Banda's home. If the President has indeed died, there will be a major political battle as the opposing parties try to get their candidate into the top spot.
The Malawi people meanwhile have been left in a state of confusion and "huge suspense" with "everyone left guessing" as to what has actually happened to President Bingu wa Mutharika.
More about Malawi, President Bingu wa Mutharika, Cardiac arrest, Lilongwe
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