Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika Reported Dead

Reports are emerging that Malawi President Bingu Mutharika has died.

The BBC claims that doctors and cabinet ministers have confirmed the president’s death but this has not been officially announced. Other news sources from Malawi seem to suggest that the president is indeed dead.

One of the doctors who treated Mr Mutharika, 78, is reported to have said the president was “clinically dead” on Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

This news will obviously have African tongues wagging following the ‘prophecy’ of controversial Nigerian church leader TB Joshua that the life of an African leader would be lost soon.

According to the constitution, the vice-president takes over if the head of state is incapacitated or dies in office. However, Vice-President Joyce Banda and Mr Mutharika fell out after a row over the succession in 2010.

Mr Mutharika’s brother, Foreign Minister Peter Mutharika, was chosen instead of Ms Banda to be the DPP’s presidential candidate in the 2014 elections. Vice-President Joyce Banda  was then expelled from the ruling Democratic People’s Party (DPP).

Bingu wa Mutharika’s death therefore presents a constitutional crisis that could further divide the country.

We will keep you posted on the events in Malawi.