Malawians are digesting news that the country's president Dr Bingu wa Mutharika is on May 1 to marry his former tourism minister Callister Chimombo. This will be preceeded by a tradional custom engament on Valenetine's Day 14 February. A couple of bloggers have wished the president well in his new found love following the death of his wife Ethel three years ago.
Emmanuel Sobilika of Malawi Digest writes:
In a press statement issued on Wednesday made available to Malawi Digest, the State House says that President Mutharika is expected to marry Chimombo on 1st May, 2010.
However, before the official marriage itself, the two will have their traditional custom engagement on 14th February, 2010. 14th February is the world’s Valentines Day where people commemorate love with their loved ones.
The official statement discloses that both Dr Mutharika and Miss Callista Chapola Chimombo are a widower and widow respectively. State House says that both Dr Bingu wa Mutharika and Chimombo are devout Roman Catholics.
Journalist Kondwani Munthali congratulates the president for what he calls:
leading the way by announcing their intentions for Holy Matrimony, adding hopefully we will find a card for the event and share with many of my freinds here the pictures.
Callista was spoted at several state functions sitting next to the president. She earlier on denied the love story. State house officials also refused to explain the protocol and justify the former minister's closeness to the president at the state functions. Richard Chirombo in Malawi's commercial capital Blantyre wrote:
Chimombo has since mid-December 2009 been seen sitting next to Mutharika, a position reserved for high government officials and trusted pals. Instead, Chimombo says it is the president who chooses who to sit next to him, and as such it was “just a previlege” that Mutharika has allowed her to sit next to him.
This will be the second state wedding in Malawi after Bakili Muluzi's in 1999.