Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Mutharika’s Express Gratitude

The Mutharika family wishes to thank God and all those who condoled us when we untimely lost our loved one, the late Professor Bingu wa Mutharika, former President of Malawi.
Firstly, we thank God for providing numerous people, from all walks of life, who shared our grief and sorrow. Although we have not yet come to terms with our loss, it made us realise that we were not alone and made the bereavement bearable.
Our sincere gratitude goes to Her Excellency, President Mrs. Joyce Banda and the whole nation for the moral and material support and logistics given before, during, and after the burial of our dad. Your physical presence greatly comforted us. We are very obliged.
As we come to grips with reality, we feel comforted by the support of all that are walking us through the grim pre- and post-burial grieving period. Indeed, the token generously provided by the Malawi Government of declaring a national mourning period and accepting our humble request for expression of the same, has been a comforting gesture to us.
Further to this, we are heavily and forever indebted to Her Excellency, President Joyce Banda’s relentless visible presence, leadership, generosity, and heartening inspiration during that period. We acknowledge Her Excellency’s stance in spearheading all government departments to ensure a smooth and deserving burial. The funeral committee’s commitment spared no outlay but to oversee an unsurpassed and dignified funeral through tireless planning. Above all, we appreciate your respecting his last wish to be buried at his farm.
We are sincerely indebted to the doctors and all medical personnel that tried their best to save the life of the late president. We also appreciate the role that the clergy played in spiritually comforting us. In a special way, we thank the Catholic Church, various religious leaders, their congregations and all numerous choirs that sang tirelessly throughout the period before the burial. Your prayers and songs meant a lot to us. You comforted and gave us hope in our sorrow and grief. May God shower his blessings on you and continue to use you to strengthen other people in similar situations.
We also extend our acknowledgement and appreciation to the following:
  • Members of the Malawi business community who donated food items to feed the mourners
  • All the chiefs, various political leaders across the country who spared time to empathise with us.
  • We thank the Malawi National Assembly, the Judiciary, State House, Office of the President and Cabinet, the Malawi Army for the military honours, Malawi Police, cabinet ministers and their deputies, all Principal Secretaries and their ministries, all government bodies and organisations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its protocol department, the NGO community, faith based organisations, media houses and institutions, all political parties in Malawi that showed their support and the cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu and their Chief Executive Officers.
  • Our gratitude also goes to the members of the international community representing their countries and/or organisations here in Malawi. We sincerely thank the foreign Presidents and dignitaries who took their time to attend the burial ceremony, including those who sent messages of condolences.
  • We especially thank the Malawi High Commission in South Africa (SA) and members of the Malawian community based in SA for their support and commitment.
  • Special thanks go to the government of South Africa. Specifically, we acknowledge and appreciate the offices of the President Jacob Zuma and his family for their generosity and compassion, the SA office of the president, the SA foreign minister and his/her staff for the hospitality accorded to us during our stay. We are further  grateful to the SA defence minister Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, he defence force, the chief protocol officer/head of protocol and his staff for ensuring the dignity of the family and the transport of the body, the doctors involved at the military complex, and the professional services of Dove Funeral Home paid for by the government of SA. We acknowledge the clergy form the SA Defence Force for the nightly mass services and guidance and the Archbishop of Pretoria for performing a requiem mass for our beloved.
  • We also offer special thanks to the following Heads  of State and Government for their moral and material support: The President and people of Zambia; the President and people of Zimbabwe; the President and people of Mozambique; the President and people of Botswana; the President and people of Tanzania, and; the President and people of Kenya.
  • Finally, but not least, the kindness shown to us by the people of Malawi during the funeral and mourning period and, indeed, up to this very day, strengthens us. The overflowing compassion and support has been beyond measure and we feel truly blessed. We know that thousands of Malawians stood for hours in Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Blantyre and finally Thyolo to pay their last respects. While we may never have the chance to thank them individually, we acknowledge and appreciate their presence and compassion. We do not take this for granted.
  • To all our friends, we say “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. Thank you for being there for us.

We have lost a loving husband and father, dedicated brother, grandfather and our mentor. Words cannot fully express our grief.
However, we are comforted because we look forward to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have hope because Revelation 21:4 says”…God will wipe away all tears from (our) eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
“…The Lord gave (us Bingu) and the Lord has taken (him) away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21.
May you all receive our heartfelt gratefulness and may God bless you abundantly.

     Wife Callista, Brother Peter, children Norma, Tapiwa, Madalitso, Duwa and Tonderai Mubaira, grandchildren and all relatives.

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