Several African leaders have joined Malawians in mourning President Bingu wa Mutharika.
In his condolence message, Nigerian leader Goodluck Jonathan said he had received with sadness news of the sudden death of Mutharika.
"On behalf of myself, the government and people of Nigeria, I extended sincere condolences to late President Bingu wa Mutharika's family as well as the government and people of Malawi," he said.
He assured Malawians of the sympathy and solidarity of the people of Nigeria and Africa as they mourn Mutharika who was also Chairperson of the African Union from January, 2010 to January, 2011.
He urged the political leadership of Malawi and its security agencies to ensure an orderly transfer of presidential powers in keeping with Malawi's existing constitutional order ahead of the country's next presidential elections scheduled to hold in 2014.On his part, Zambian president Michael Sata expressed sadness at the untimely death of Mutharika last week following a cardiac arrest.
In his letter of condolences to the newly inaugurated President Joyce Banda, Sata expressed his deep sense of shock and sadness at the death of Mutharika. This is according to a statement released by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah.
"The Zambian people feel profoundly sorry for the loss of a true friend like President wa Mutharika and shares Malawi's sadness during this period of enormous pain," reads President Sata's statement in part.
Sata said Zambia particularly remembers the late president for the many years he spent in the country during his tenure as secretary-general of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
"On behalf of the Government, the people of the Republic of Zambia and indeed on my own behalf, I express our innermost condolences to you, the first family, the Government and the people of the Republic of Malawi," he said.
Locally, the bishops of the Catholic faith have called on the citizenry to dignify the mourning of Mutharika by rising
above personal and political self interests.
In a statement issued on Saturday and signed for by all the nine
bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, the church says it is saddened by the death of Mutharika.
"In the spirit of peace and in keeping with the command of Jesus, 'Peace is what I leave you; it is my own peace that I give you.....' John 14:27), we pray that the peace and calm that has been characteristic of Malawi as a nation is seen and allowed to prevail... at this juncture," it reads.
They have since conveyed a message of condolence to the Mutharika family.
The bishops further appealed for smooth succession as Mrs. Joyce Banda takes over authority as per the requirements of the Malawi Constitution.
Meanwhile, the European Union says President Mutharika will be remembered as a champion of food security in Africa and for his success in achieving national food security in Malawi.
In a condolence statement, the EU also observed that Malawi has in the past 20 years become an example of democracy with its peaceful transitions of power and respect for the constitution and the outcome of elections.
"We express our hope that this tradition will be respected and that there will be a calm and peaceful transition of power in full respect of the provisions of the Constitution," reads the statement.