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Malawi full inquiry report on Bingu wa Mutharika’s death

Malawi government

EVENTS AT STATE HOUSE ON THE 5th OF APRIL 2012

The Commission received testimony that the day started normally. The late President had breakfast as usual.22   The Presidential Food Taster, Mr. Harrison Mackenzie Nkhoma, told the Commission that on that morning he, as usual, tasted the President’s breakfast to ensure that it did not contain harmful substances. He confirmed the food to be fine and it was served for breakfast. He also told the Commission that the President was very busy that day and did not take tea morning tea at the office as he usually did.

 

The State House housekeeper, Mrs. Elizabeth Mvinda, told the Commission that she met the President and the First Lady around 9 o’clock in the morning as they were having breakfast. She had joined them as usual at the table to discuss the programme for the day. In accordance with the daily routine, the housekeeper was given the tasks for the day during this meeting. On this particular day, the President indicated to the housekeeper that he was not going to take tea around the usual time that he did which was around 10 o’clock in the morning. The housekeeper told the Commission that at that time, the President looked fine and his normal self, and there seemed to be no problem at all with him. 

After breakfast, the President was led to his office by his close protection security officer a Mr. Francisco  Gideon. As usual, Mr. Gideon carried the late President’s briefcase and office keys. Upon arrival in the office, Mr. Gideon opened the windows and took leave of the President. He then proceeded to his normal position near the lift close to the door leading into the President’s office. 

After the President had arrived in his office, his personal secretary, Mrs. Flora Muhara, went into the office around just after 9 o’clock to greet the President as a usual courtesy, and also to give him some letters to sign, but she was not able to do so as she retreated because the President was on the phone.

 That morning, the President spoke on the phone to several Government officials before attending to his appointments. He spoke with the State House Press Officer, Mr. Albert Mungomo, around 8 am. The President instructed Mr. Mungomo to put members of the media on alert because he wanted to deliver an Easter message to the nation in the afternoon. He also spoke on the phone with the Deputy Chief Secretary, Mr. Necton Mhura, who had called him to find out about the status of his request for approval to go outside the country for medical treatment. The President gave his approval.

The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Peter Mukhito, also told the Commission that he too spoke on the phone to the President while the President was in the office that morning. It was the President who called him concerning the  issue of security of property at the Presidential Villas in Lilongwe.

The President also spoke to the Director of National Intelligence Services, Mr. Bintony Kutsaira, around 9:30 that morning. Mr. Kutsaira told the Commission that the President sounded jovial. The President gave him certain assignments to do in Blantyre.

The President’s Advisor on Religious Affairs, Rev. Billy Gama, also talked to the President the same morning  before 10 o’clock. Their discussion centered on the statement that Rev. Gama had drafted for the President for the Easter address to the nation. The message was meant to be aired out to the Malawi nation the following day on Good Friday. They also discussed where the President was planning to go and pray the following day being Good Friday. 

2.2.1 The President’s Appointments for the Day 

The President had a schedule of eight appointments on this particular day.23  He had four appointments in the morning and four in the afternoon. His morning appointments were as follows:

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