7 April 2012
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has expressed his deep shock at the passing away of the President of Malawi, Dr Bingu wa Mutharika.
In a statement issued in London, Mr Sharma said: "On behalf of the Commonwealth family and on my own behalf, I would like to convey my deepest condolences to the family of the late President and to the Government and people of Malawi."
"President Mutharika was a strong supporter of the Commonwealth. The membership has benefited from his active participation at various summits, including most recently, at the Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia in 2011. Only this year, I visited Malawi at the invitation of President Mutharika.
"During our meeting, we discussed Commonwealth values, and the practical partnerships that the Commonwealth would provide in future to strengthen adherence to those fundamental values.
"The Commonwealth stands in solidarity with Malawi at this trying time. I hope that the people of Malawi will have the strength to cope with this loss and that all concerned will find a peaceful and constitutional way forward from this tragedy. The Commonwealth will stand by Malawi, as a trusted partner, towards that end," the Secretary-General concluded.