Mutharika widow tussles with children over property

Ms Callitsa Mutharika  FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A legal battle has ensued between former Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika's widow Callitsa Mutharika and her step children over the administration of the deceased's estate.

Mr Mutharika's children from his first marriage sought court's intervention to order Callista to vacate the state-of-the-art house, which the former built at his home village.

The children argued that Mr Mutharika's property was under a Bineth Trust, which he and his first wife, late Ethel, founded.

The children are some of the beneficiaries of the trust.

But Callista argued that at the time of Mr Mutharika's death, she was the legally married to the president and that he (Mutharika) on a number of occasions mentioned that the disputed house would be his retirement home, meaning that if he had retired, Callista would be staying at the house.

On Tuesday, Callista swiftly obtained letters of administration for Mr Mutharika's estate from the High Court in Blantyre, effectively becoming the controller of the deceased's estate.

In a twist of events, Mr Mutharika's children on the night of Tuesday managed to obtain an injunction stopping Callista from becoming the controller of former president's property.

The children, in their affidavit in support of the injunction, argued that sometime after their father’s death, they informed Callista of their intention to apply for letters of administration of the estate, and suggested they she be one of the administrators.

President Mutharika died in April last year and was survived by four children and a widow.

The children from his first marriage are aged between 40 and 55 years.

The late Mutharika married Callista in 2010 after he had lost his first wife in 2007.

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