Government has spent K21 million (about $125 748) on 50 000 metres of funeral cloth for the late president Bingu wa Mutharika which is to be distributed free to Malawians.
Chairperson of the ministerial committee on the funeral Henry Mussa said the cloth was released on Thursday.
He was speaking in an interview at Sanjika Palace when President Joyce Banda led Malawians in the South in viewing the body of the late Mutharika.
â€œThe cloth will be distributed to the churches, especially to the choirs and the public particularly those close to the bereaved family. It will also be distributed to all political parties. We will be guided by several institutions, including the civil servants organs in the Office of the President and Cabinet, on the distribution,â€ said Mussa before the arrival of the President.
President Banda arrived at 9 am and at 9.14 am, the clergy offered prayers. These came from the pentecostal and charismatic churches, Islam, CCAP and the Catholic Church. Presidential aid on Religious Affairs the Reverend Billy Gama directed the prayer session.
At 9.28 am, the President led Malawians in the South in viewing the body as Nkolokoti CCAP Women Choir sang. Those that viewed Mutharikaâ€™s body after Banda included Vice-President Khumbo Kachali, former president Bakili Muluzi, former vice-president Cassim Chilumpha, Peter Mutharika, Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda, Mutharikaâ€™s relations, who were led by Charles Matabwa and Charles Namondwe.
None of Mutharikaâ€™s children showed up when called to view their fatherâ€™s body.
The inscription on Mutharikaâ€™s cross showed he died on April 6 2012. Mutharikaâ€™s death date continues to remain misty with some saying it was April 5.
When it was Cabinet ministersâ€™ turn, Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure Sidik Mia led the procession which included Labour Minister Luscious Kanyumba, Minister of Education George Chaponda, new Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu.
Mia and Kanyumba were some of the ministers that declared their support to the new President before their former boss was buried.
Members of Parliament were led by Patricia Kaliati of Mulanje West who was also minister of Information and Civic Education in the Bingu administration.
Archbishop for Blantyre Archdiocese Tarcizio Ziyaye and his Auxiliary bishop Montfort Stima also took their turn.
The President left at 9.42 am followed by the Vice-President who left at 9.44 am. Then Muluzi left after getting into his Land Rover registration number FP.
Mutharikaâ€™s body arrived in Blantyre on Thursday and will lie in state at Sanjika until Saturday.