Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika is in a coma following a cardiac arrest he suffered this morning, and is expected to be flown to South Africa for treatment this Thursday evening.
A Cabinet source has told Nation Online, Mutharika is scheduled to arrive at Johannesburgâ€™s Lanseria Airport at about 10 pm and will be admitted to Milpark Hospital.
Meanwhile, reports indicate that the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) has reportedly deployed at least 15 military personnel to Vice-President Joyce Bandaâ€™s Area 12 residence in Lilongwe, in a move that may be interpreted as beefing up the security of a likely leader of the country, at least temporarily.
The Malawi Constitution says in the event of incapacitation or death of the President, the Vice-President takes over till elections are held for the presidency.
The President, according to eye witnesses, arrived at the Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, in a three vehicle convoy which included a dark green Toyota Land Cruiser ambulance.
According to a hospital worker, State House security detail cleared the car park and moved patients and hospital workers to Out Patients Department. The President was carried on a stretcher into the hospitalâ€™s ICU.
Nation Online arrived at the hospital at 11.45am and found the Presidentâ€™s brother Professor Peter Mutharika conferring with Chief Secretary to the President Bright Msaka. Director of National Intelligence Services
Bintony Kutsaira was also among the first arrivals at the hospital.
Later, Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhito arrived in a private car, followed by Minister of Energy and Mining Goodall Gondwe, who was closely followed by Health Minister Dr. Jean Kalirani.
The First Lady Callista Mutharika arrived at the hospital around 1.45pm in a Mercedez Benz (MG 337AB). She was dressed in a red jacket.
Everything was quiet at the hospital with few police officers visible outside the hospital.
The First Lady, Gondwe, Msaka, Mukhito and Kutsaira have since left the hospital.
There is still no official word from government.