Former Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika died on April 5 2012, the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) has clarified.
OPCâ€™s clarification comes after confusion on the exact date Mutharika died with some saying he died on April 5 and others April 7 2012 when the nation was officially told about the death.
The Cabinet delayed the announcement as it was planning to have Mutharikaâ€™s brother, Peter, sworn in as new president.
Even the inscription on Mutharikaâ€™s coffin read that he died on April 7 when the body arrived at Kamuzu International Airport on Saturday. The following day, the date of death was changed to April 5 2012.
On Wednesday, it read that the late Mutharika died on April 6.
But clerk to Cabinet Chinthu Phiri on Wednesday insisted that Mutharika died on April 5 2012 and that the confusion could be because of the death announcement which was made on April 7 2012.
A statement from the OPC also says Mutharika died on April 5 2012.
Reads the statement: â€œHis Excellency President Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika, who suffered a cardiac arrest at the State House in Lilongwe at about 11.51 am on Thursday 5th April 2012.â€
Asked to comment on the version that Mutharika was already dead when he was taken to South Africa, Phiri only said, â€œThat is an assignment for you.â€
Some doctors at Kamuzu Central Hospital have said Mutharika was airlifted to South Africa already dead. One of them claimed Mutharikaâ€™s case was not handled with seriousness because the hospital administrator Dr. Noorden Alide was not even informed that the President was being taken to the hospital.
â€œThe hospital administrator was not even told that the President had suffered cardiac arrest and that he was being taken to Kamuzu Central Hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, Mutharikaâ€™s doctor [Dan Namarika] just brought him straight into the ICU without informing Dr Alide. When Dr Alide came to the hospital, he found the President already dead,â€ the doctor said.
Dr. Alide confirmed not being informed that the President had suffered cardiac arrest and that he was being taken to his hospital.
Asked to confirm that Mutharika was already dead at the KCH, Alide said spokesperson for the Ministry of Health Henry Chimbali was better placed to comment.
Chimbali said the ministry was advised that all matters surrounding the death of Mutharika are to be handled by the OPC.
But another Ministry of Health official said Mutharika was â€œclinically deadâ€ when he was being airlifted to South Africa.