The incident happened ahead of a friendly football match, between Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers, to climax the 53rd Independence Anniversary Celebrations.
Speaking at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where he visited the critically-injured in the high dependency unit and the mortuary where the dead were being identified by their families, the President, who was visibly moved, said good crowd control strategies could have averted the tragedy.
Said Mutharika: “The innocent souls we have lost today wanted to be part of our independence celebrations. I am so saddened that they have lost their lives on a day like today and some have been hospitalized here, like we have just seen. I promise the bereaved families and other victims of government’s support in this time of need.
“Going forward, I think relevant authorities should make sure that this does not happen again. Those are modern structures whose designs are very much accommodating. We should make sure all proper and safety procedures are followed when people are entering the stadium.”
For the free-entry event, gates into the 40, 000-seater stadium were set to open as early as 6 am but were not open until around 9 am with huge crowd of expectant fans awaiting entry.