President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi has died, doctors and cabinet ministers have told the BBC, but the lack of a formal announcement is leading to widespread anxiety. Mr Mutharika, 78, suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday and state media say he was flown to South Africa for treatment. There are fears that his death could lead to a power struggle. Both the UK and US have called for the constitution to be respected. According to the constitution, the vice-president takes over if the head of state is incapacitated or dies in office. But Vice-President Joyce Banda and Mr Mutharika fell out after a row over the succession in 2010, and she was expelled from the ruling Democratic People’s Party (DPP).
… UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell is among international leaders calling for a transition in line with the constitution. Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the State Department, said the US is “concerned about the delay in the transfer of power. We trust that the vice-president who is next in line will be sworn in shortly,” he said in a statement.
Malawi Law Society president John Makhwawa told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that people were very anxious because of the lack of official information. He said that the vice-president should already have assumed powers and that anyone who attempted to govern in her place would be committing treason.
Full Article: BBC News – Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika ‘dead’.