“He was a man who loved Malawi and Malawians. He used to come here in numerous occasions; when we have a funeral or weddings, he was always here. He even declared Chinyanja as one of the official languages in Zimbabwe. This is the reason I have decided to bid him farewell in person,” said President Mutharika at Kamuzu International Airport on his departure to Zimbabwe.
President Mutharika has joined more than a dozen African leaders who are gathering in Zimbabwe's capital Harare as the country prepares for former president Robert Mugabe's funeral today, Saturday, September 14, 2019.
A national sports stadium is expected to be filled with well-wishers.
Some dignitaries, including Equatorial Guinea President Theodore Obiang Nguema, have already arrived.
His successor as president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will address mourners at the National Sports Stadium, where thousands will wear the colours of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe will be buried in the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare, his family says, following a row with the government over his final resting site.
Family spokesman and nephew Leo Mugabe says this should be in about a month, when the new mausoleum has been built.
Mugabe, who was 95, died last week while being treated in Singapore.