Blantyre, Malawi, June 20 (MaraviPost) _ All roads Saturday lead to Ndata Farm in the Malawi tea-growing district of Thyolo, some 30 kilometres outside the commercial capital, Blantyre when the southern African country’s newly-elected President Prof. Peter Mutharika is set to marry his long-time confidante Gertrude Hendrina Maseko at a traditional ceremony.
In a statement, State House in the capital, Lilongwe, said the traditional wedding ceremony will precede a private church service to bless the union in Blantyre in the morning.
Vice President Saulos Chilima, who is chairing the wedding committee, said the ceremony will cost 38 million Malawi kwacha (about US $95,000). He, however, said well-wishers will fund the wedding ceremony and no government money will be used.
Chilima said the wedding committee plans to fete some 6,000 villagers from around Mutharika ancestral village of Goliati in the tea-growing district of Thyolo, some 300 of what he termed as VVIP (Very Important People) and 1,000 VIP guests.
Names of the VVIP guest list are yet to be unveiled.
Prof. Mutharika, 74, becomes the second Mutharika to wed while in State House. The late president, Bingu WA Mutharika, married his former minister Callista Chimombo in 2010 three years after losing his wife of 30 years, Ethel.
Former President Bakili Muluzi also married his second wife, Shanil, while in State House in 1999.
Prof. Mutharika has been a widower for 30 years after losing his first wife, Christophine, from the Caribbean islands. They have three children between them.
The 54-year-old in-coming Malawi First Lady, who has just lost her parliamentary seat to Malawi’s top-most musician Lucius Banda, has a son from her previous marriage. A holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in administration, Maseko served as an MP for the southern town of Balaka between 2009 and 2014 in her new husband’s late brother’s administration.-maravipost