Pallbearers carry the casket containing the remains of Malawi's former President Bingu wa Mutharika upon arrival at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe on April 14, 2012. A sombre mood fell over Malawi as scores of people welcomed home the body of late president Bingu wa Mutharika, flown back from South Africa Saturday following his fatal heart attack. AFP PHOTO / AMOS GUMULIRA
Blantyre – Malawi’s former president, who died of a heart attack earlier this month, has been buried after a funeral service that drew African leaders and thousands of Malawian mourners.
Malawian army officers carry the coffin of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika at a state funeral in Blantyre, Malawi, Monday April 23, 2012.
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and Armando Guebuza of Mozambique were among the heads of state at Monday’s Catholic service in Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial capital.
President Bingu wa Mutharika, who died at 78, was buried later at his nearby Ndata Farm in a white mausoleum he had built for his first wife, Ethel, who died in 2007.
Zimbabean president Robert Mugabe, left and his wife Grace, right, attend the state funeral of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika in Blantyre, Malawi, Monday April 23, 2012.
Mutharika called the mausoleum “Maphumulo wa Bata,” or “Peaceful Rest.” But other Malawians, critical of the money he spent on his farm retreat soon after first being elected in 2004, dubbed the mausoleum the Taj Mahal.
Bishop Joseph Zuza of Mzuzu Diocese (R), who is Chairman of the Catholic Church's Episcopal Conference of Malawi, leads the other Bishops and priests including Archibishop of Lilongwe, Remi Ste Marie (3R), in prayers for late former President of Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika upon arrival of his remains at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe on April 14, 2012
Malawian president Joyce Banda pays her last respects at the coffin of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika at a state funeral in Blantyre, Malawi, Monday April 23, 2012.
Malawi's President Joyce Banda lays a wreath during a funeral service for late president Bingu wa Mutharika on his farm in his home village of Chisoka, 30 km east of Malawi 's commercial capital Blanytyre, April 23, 2012
Mourners attend the state funeral of the late Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika in Blantyre, Malawi, Monday April 23, 2012.