Unconfirmed reports from South Africa say President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi has died.However, no official announcement has yet been made by the Malawi government.
President Wa Mutharika was hospitalised at Kamuzu Central Hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on Thursday and was later flown to South Africa for further treatment.
Doctors at the South African hospital say efforts to resuscitate President Mutharika failed and that an official announcement is being prepared.
Reports from Malawiâ€™s main city, Blantyre, say cabinet ministers met all night to discuss the situation.
According to the constitution, the Vice-President Joyce Banda takes over if the head of state is incapacitated or dies in office.
Dr Mutharika, a former World Bank economist was elected president in 2004 and unanimously re-elected in 2009.
President Wa Mutharika who died this Friday, was born on the 24th of February 1934.
Upon completing his primary education at Ulongwe Mission and Chingoli, Mulanje, Ntambanyama, Malamulo, in Thyolo and Henri Henderson Institute, Blantyre, President Wa Mutharika obtained a Grade A Cambridge Overseas School Leaving Certificate at Dedza Secondary School in 1956.
In 1964, Wa 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.
In India, Wa Mutharika earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics.
He later obtained a Ph.D. degree in Development Economics from Pacific Western University of Los Angeles, California.
Wa Mutharika also served in the Malawi civil service.
He was an economist and international diplomat, who 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).