Malawi: Late President’s children fight over access to mansion with step mum

Calista pays her last respects in April this year.

The children of Malawi’s late President Bingu wa Mutharika have gone public to complain about how their step mother, Calista, is denying them access to their homestead in Thyolo, where Mutharika is buried.

“It saddens us deeply to be denied access to our homestead (The place of our parents are resting eternally) and threatened with police actions,” a statement signed by the three children said.

Mutharika married Calista on April 17, 2010, in a wedding bash many described as wasteful. He lost his first wife, Ethel to cancer while he was in power.

Late Mutharika’s only son Madalisto Mutharika, Tapiwa Mutharika and Duwa Mutharika – Mubaira, said in a press statement that the former first lady physically attacked one of them.

“The former first lady, with the help of her staff, physically confronted Madalitso Mutharika when he visited the Casablanca Manor, which is wholly owned and maintained by the Trust, ” reads the statement in part.

According to the three, late Mutharika built Casablanca Manor at Ndata Estate in Thyolo – about 60 kms from the commercial city of Blantyre – for his late wife [their mother] and placed it in a trust in her name and those of her children.

“This Mutharika family estate is where her remains are buried in the Mpumulo wa Bata Mausoleum. Secondly, in order to not cause confusion between properties created by him and his first wife Ethel and her children and his second wife Callista Chapola Mutharika, he purchased a home for the latter in her name in Zomba,” the statement reads in part.

Mutharika died suddenly in April this year after a heart attack at State House. His death was celebrated by many because he was widely seen as an autocrat responsible for economic collapse.

Since his death speculation has been rife that his children have been at daggers drawn with Calista over the extravagant Ndata mansion.

The children have since filed their complaints with authorities.

“As a family, it is our sincere hope that this issue can be resolved amicably, with dignity in order to preserve the legacy of our late parents.”