Friday, February 10, 2012

Bingu wa Mutharika

Bingu wa Mutharika (born February 24, 1934) is the current President of the Republic of Malawi. He was first elected on May 24, 2004. He is the President of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party with an overwhelming majority in Malawi’s Parliament as a result of a landslide victory in 2009 general elections.

Born in Thyolo, about 30 km from Malawi's commercial capital, Blantyre, Bingu wa Mutharika holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) degree in development economics from the Pacific Western University of Los Angeles, California (USA), a Master’s Degree of economics and a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Delhi, India.

Early Life and Career
Bingu wa Mutharika was born on February 24, 1934 in Thyolo. Both of Mutharika’s parents, the Late Mr. Ryson Thom Mutharika and the Late Mrs. Eleni Thom Mutharika, were both devout Christians of the Church of Scotland Mission which later became CCAP. His father was a strong believer in education as the key to success and was a teacher for 37 years. His mother taught the women of the Mvano group.

Upon completing his primary education at Ulongwe Mission and Chingoli, Mulanje, Ntambanyama, Malamulo, in Thyolo and Henri Henderson Institute, Blantyre, the young Mutharika obtained a Grade A Cambridge Overseas School Leaving Certificate at Dedza Secondary School in 1956. In 1964, Mutharika was one of the 32 Malawians selected by Hastings Kamuzu Banda (President of Malawi 1961-1994) to travel to India on an Indira Gandhi scholarship for 'fast track' diplomas. In India, Mutharika earned his Bachelor's degree in Economics. Subsequently, he attended the Delhi School of Economics graduating with a M.A. degree in Economics. He later obtained a Ph.D. degree in Development Economics from Pacific Western University of Los Angeles, California (USA). Mutharika also attended dozens of short courses on Business Management, Financial Analysis, Trade Promotion, Political Leadership, regional Economic Co-operation and Human Relations. 

Mutharika also served in the Malawi civil service. As an economist and international diplomat, he has made contributions to world economic development. He has held high level management positions having served as Administrative Officer in the Government of Malawi and Zambia; He was offered the Deputy Governorship of the reserve Bank of Malawi and appointed Minister of Economic Planning and Development in 2002.

He also worked at the World Bank as a Loans Officer and at the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa as Director of Trade and Development Finance and as Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa COMESA, covering 22 Member States.

Family and Personal Life
He was married to first lady, Ethel Zvauya Mutharika, a lady of Zimbabwean. Mutharika and Ethel had four children together. After a long battle with cancer that led her to France and South Africa seeking treatment, Mutharika's wife died on May 28, 2007.

In 2010, Mutharika announced he planned to marry Callista Chapola-Chimombo, a former Minister of Tourism. The two were married in 2010.

Mutharika has a brother, Peter Mutharika, who was a lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis. In May 2009, he was elected to the Malawian Parliament, and was subsequently appointed to the Malawi Cabinet as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. He is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

From :