Monday, March 14, 2005

Karl Marx?

A spectre is haunting Malawi...or at least its Presidential Mansion:

Malawians prayed for their president on Monday after officials said he had left his 300-room mansion in the capital because of fears it was haunted. Newspapers, however, slammed the spooky talk from the presidency and asked President Bingu wa Mutharika to get on with fighting poverty in the southern African state.

Officials in Mutharika's office said on Sunday the 73-year-old president, a former economist with the World Bank, had decamped from the $100-million (about R600-million) presidential State House in central Lilongwe because he feared it was haunted.

On Monday, an official in Mutharika's office charged with overseeing religious affairs said exorcisms were being said on the mansion's grounds while prayer sessions were taking place in churches in Llilongwe and Blantyre, the commercial capital.

"We continue with prayers that not any harm, not any power, not any strategy designed from the pits of hell will be able to prosper against the president," the Reverend Malani Mtonga said.

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