Thousands of Malawians on Sunday afternoon thronged to Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) to welcome their leader and State President Arthur Peter Mutharika on his return from United States where he went for official duties last month. As early as 6am the road to KIA from M1 Road was awash with blue-attired wellwishers either in cars or on foot heading to the airport.
Even the October heat was not enough a reason to distract multitudes from standing and sitting in open space as they waited for the Democratic Progressive Party leader. There has never been such a hyped welcome of a State leader in Malawi since multipartism was introduced in the early 90s. A sea of thunderous masses dressed in blue and stationed some 100 metres away from the landing point chanted as the plane carrying their President kissed the ground at around 15:45pm. Upon alighting from the Qatar Executive jet he was welcomed downstairs by Vice President Saulos Chilima, Chief Secretary to Government George Mkondiwa, party officials and cabinet ministers. He then proceeded to inspect a guard of honor mounted by the Armed Forces. Moments after the inspection Professor Mutharika got into his official car and headed out of airport premises towards Kamuzu Palace. A long convoy of party supporters and well-wishing Malawians winded like a snake for miles and miles as the Presidential motorcade cruised into Lilongwe City. Many more Malawians stood by the roadside waving party and national flags as a display of solidarity and love to a leader they missed wholeheartedly. According to State House press office President Mutharika will convene a press briefing in the coming days.