Atambwali sametana: the curious case of alliance talks among DPP, UDF and PP

Peter Mutharika
Malawi President and DPP Leader Peter Mutharika

Written by Patseni Mauka

They say in politics, there are no permanent enemies. With Malawi elections getting closer, parties that may seem to be sworn enemies have started approaching each other to strategize on how they can work together to maximize their chances of winning the 2019 general elections.

The nature of such approaches are usually very secret for several reasons. One of the reasons is that parties don’t want the parties they want to defeat to know about their strategy lest the other parties come up with counter strategies. The other reason is that parties don’t want people to know that they tried to court some party but failed.

However, there is no secret under the sun. There is always that fly on the wall of the rooms people use to discuss political matters. There is always someone who leaks the talks to the press or on social media. The latest revelations are that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the People’s Party (PP) are destined for an alliance. DPP and UDF are already in talks and they plan to approach PP. The plan is to have Kondwani Nankhumwa as running mate to President Peter Mutharika and later have Atupele Muluzi appointed as Second Vice President.

Nankhumwa is DPP’s Vice President for the South and Minister of Local Government. His alleged real name is George Malemia. His former school mates say he started using the name Kondwani Nankhumwa after ‘inheriting’ his deceased brother’s academic certificates. In short, he has no meaningful academic credentials which are crucial elements in critical analysis that is always necessary for higher offices.

Nankhumwa is an accomplished liar who, in 2015, while serving as Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, asked President Peter Mutharika to commission special investigation over the death of his elder brother, the former president Bingu wa Mutharika claiming he didn’t die a natural death but was rather killed by his then Vice President, Joyce Banda. Nankhumwa made the allegations during the commemoration of Bingu wa Mutharika at Ndata farm in Thyolo. Until now he has never provided any evidence of his allegations.

To know the ultimate objective of the potential alliance, we have to look closely at the people in front of the talks. The DPP, UDF and PP talks are being spearheaded by the Godfather of political deals, Bakili Eleson Muluzi, retired Malawi President (1994-2004) and one of the founders of UDF. Bakili Muluzi is the father of the current leader of UDF and Minister of Health, Atupele Muluzi. Yes, like a son inheriting his father’s car, he inherited UDF.

Atupele Muluzi
Lands Minster Atupele Muluzi defends controversial customary Land bill

In the 2014 general elections, Atupele Muluzi campaigned on the popular message of ‘agenda for change’ but joined the ‘no change team’ of DPP in a governing coalition after losing the elections. Since 2014, not a lot has been heard about him in terms of his ambition to be President of Malawi. He has been quietly loyal to corrupt Mutharika and learning the trade of governing in different government portfolios.

His father, Bakili Muluzi, aged 74, has the ambition to one day see his son as President of Malawi. Knowing the senior Muluzi, he will do anything to see this goal achieved. At the time he was a president people who posed a threat to his presidency got swiftly eliminated. A music maestro who was destined to conquer Africa if not the world, Evison Matafale, died under suspicious circumstances. He was the founder and leader of the reggae band Black Missionaries.

Matafale was arrested and tortured by the police. Prior to his arrest he had written a series of letters to President Bakili Muluzi denouncing his government’s policies. In the letters he wrote, he denounced the president’s preferential treatment of Muslims and Asian traders and accused him of exploiting ordinary Malawians.

During Muluzi’s Presidency, Kalonga Stambuli, his senior economic adviser and business partner died through strangulation and poisoning. A few weeks before Stambuli’s death, a document purportedly written by him surfaced on the internet and local newspapers, alleging abuse of power by senior Malawi government officials including Muluzi.

Muluzi is currently answering fraud charges of K1.7 billion ($12 million) which was in his personal account during his presidency. The government alleges the money was public funds diverted to the former president’s personal account. Muluzi’s goal is to have his corruption case dropped by government. He is therefore stuck with the ruling DPP.

The other name being mentioned in the talks is Brown Mpinganjira, another founder of UDF, who quit it to form his own party, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). He then miserably lost in the presidential elections in 2004. Mpinganjira later dissolved the NDA and rejoined UDF.

In the May 2009 presidential election, in which UDF formed an electoral alliance with Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Mpinganjira ran alongside MCP presidential candidate John Tembo as running mate. Agonizingly, he again, found himself on the losing side. Such was the agony that he found solace in evangelism and renamed himself, Evangelist Brown Mpinganjira.

When evangelism alone could not feed him, he rejoined politics in the PP’s embarrassingly short-lived government (2012-2014). In the 2014 elections, Evangelist Mpinganjira found himself on the losing side yet again. After finding it tough in opposition, he dumped PP and joined ruling DPP. With DPP losing popularity as evidenced by the statistics from 2009 to present, Mpinganjira’s interest is not to be found on the losing side again.

Mpinganjira, Mutharika and Muluzi have also one common interest; to make sure that no person from the central and northern regions ever rule Malawi. This is one of the most unfortunate reasons why DPP and UDF want to form an alliance. Any Malawian is capable of becoming President as long as he is qualified, has ability to improve the economy and has the interest of Malawians at heart. Regionalism should always be condemned.

The DPP, UDF and PP alliance talks are not in the interest of developing Malawi. They are just being held to serve interests of a few greedy people. The alliance would only succeed in maintaining DPP in power. After that the UDF will go extinct. With a Second Vice President position, Atupele Muluzi will be at the mercy of Mutharika and probably get fired at the earliest opportune time. That’s Mutharika’s secret wish.

Should Atupele be running mate, it would be a fantastic opportunity for UDF to come back to power in the unlikely event that God decide to recall the old and frail Mutharika while in office. This is the senior Muluzi’s greatest wish, to see his son become President and UDF back in power.

Atambwali sametana, DPP and UDF are greatest political foes pretending to work together but each one secretly wishing to eliminate the other. As for PP, I don’t see what the party would benefit in such an alliance apart from just being king makers.

 

DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post

 

 

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My Take On It: Let there be timely and equal remembrance of all War veterans, ex-service persons

3And the king said, “What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this?” Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, “There is nothing done for him.”… 8“Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: 9And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour. Esther 6:3, 8-9, KJV

 

On 28 June 1914, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, that led to the July Crisis. In response, Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia on 23 July, but Serbia’s reply failed to satisfy the Austrians. The two moved to a war footing and July 28, 2014, war broke that soon spread to other parts of Europe. Then from 1939 to 1945, the world again was at war. Known as World War II, it was precipitated by an aggressive Germany under Adolf Hitler, that embarked on annexing neighboring countries in the desire to getting “a window to the sea.”

Both wars involved over 100 million soldiers from Europe, the United States, and colonies owned by Britain, France and Germany. Millions lost their lives, limbs, sight, mental health, livelihoods; the military personnel and soldiers that survived, have been honored annually with parades held on the day the first World War ended, November 11, 1918.

The grand bandstand commemoration, while being a hugely pomp-ish affair in the cities and capitals of the Allies around the world, it has always been a low-keyed, somber one, especially here in Malawi. There were many soldiers from Africa, Malawi, that joined British, French and American soldiers to go and fight to squash the villainous countries that threatened global peace.

A great big sigh of relief, coupled with the cynical “It’s about time” commentaries when on November 11, 2018, British High Commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett announced that her government would increase its money to Malawi’s 440 veterans. They are among 7,000 who participated in both wars. This increase is given, according to Tett, to prevent the veterans and ex-servicemen and women, from suffering from hunger and poverty.

The assistance comes from the Department of International Development (DfID).

Last year the Malawi Defense Force, in a move to do something for the men that bravely joined in the war effort, changed the name of the organization that looks after the welfare of the two great wars, from CELOM (Commonwealth Ex-service League of Malawi) to VELOM (Veterans and Ex-service Members League of Malawi.

Malawi’s remaining heroes include Sgt John Masanya and Staff Sgt Mang’anda, whom Tett acknowledged that she and her government appreciate their service during the world wars. But the renaming of CELOM to VELOM, embraces servicemen and women that served in the Malawi Defense Force and retired.

 

These are awesome moves, inclusive, and long overdue. While I saw CELOM assist in the welfare of veterans of the global wars, they were wars that technically had nothing to do with then Nyasaland, as Malawi was known then, and such help always came with labouriously lengthy processes and persistence by my mother, as she fought for the rights of her late brother’s children and widow’s upkeep and schooling.

I learned how to spell Timbuktu as a young elementary student because that was one of the areas my Uncle Tennyson Chikankheni, was one of the many stations he was posted.

Late Uncle Tennyson Chikankheni Sr., who fought in World War II as part of the King’s African Rifles and wore his uniform with pride up to the 1960’s before his retirement, and when Nyasaland became an independent country, Malawi.

During his tenure in the KAR, he toured Burma (Myanmar) Malaysia, Germany, and Timbuktu. To this list of family members, I add Late Uncle Lemson Chanthunya, and Late Uncle Steven Phombeya.

While veterans in the US, UK, Europe, and other parts of the developed world enjoy a boisterous after the war life of mostly elevated lifestyle, that of the men who left their family, country and continent, to fight in a war that they did not understand, involve them or thank them until 100 years later.

If the fight of 1914 to 1918 and 1939 10 1945, were for the greater good of mankind, peace and the routing out of all evil, it is grossly ironic because all the good that the war was ferociously fought for, the bounty of the wars remained in the West and has not trickled to the countries that sent soldiers, many of whom were tasked with the miserable tasks of war.

This is despite all the November 11 pomp and pageantry the day is according to cities and capitals around the world. In Malawi, as in much of other African countries, veterans of the two world wars, the Korean War, have lived close to the fringes of poverty; up to the time former President Kamuzu Banda ordered that decent houses be built for the veterans in Zomba, they had lived in thatched houses.

Subsequent presidents have also endeavored to show their appreciation, acknowledging their level of service. The contribution from the UK of 118 Pounds Sterling to each of the VELOM men, will be a boost for the Vets, something that will ensure they have two meals a day.

My family currently has two war heroes – Tennyson Chikankheni Jr. (DRC), Chifundo Chintsanya, and Mo Karim (Afgan, Germany, and Middle East).

Our men and women in uniform are our pride and joy, they defend us and secure the integrity of our national borders. Our timely appreciation and support, material and spiritual is paramount and must be prioritized.

The fact that it has taken the UK 100 years to step up their contribution to higher levels is overdue. The appreciation that the high commissioner expresses, is appreciated, but the length of time it has taken for this to be given and the discrepancies between Malawi soldiers and UK soldiers is depressing.

Global democracy was fought and has been guaranteed by dedicated soldiers; all the soldiers must be compensated in an equally and timely manner.

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UTM, MCP and PP coalition in disarray; Meeting’ minutes exposes

Chakwera and Chilima

 

By Nenenji Mlangeni

 

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Drama continues to rock opposition parties in the country a head of 2019 general elections following the recent political study that revealed that the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will win the polls.

 

This has prompted oppositions party including United Transformation Movement (UTM) Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP) seeking for political alliance against DPP).

 

There have been several meetings to handle the coalition that most members in these political parties are into ego, thinking that on their own will win the elections.

 

We have in possession of meeting minutes of the discussions representatives of UTM, MCP and PP had on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 in Blantyre .

 

Here is the full minutes of the  meeting that ended members angrily not agreeing to each other but drama;

 

DRAMA RAGES ON

 

The meeting started at about 3pm at St. John’s Catholic Secondary School in Lilongwe. (Another parallel meeting was taking place in Blantyre at the same time).

 

UTM members came to St. John’s to discuss a report of the executive committee on their coalition plans with MCP and PP.  But to their surprise, the hall was already full of people when the UTM entered the hall.

 

They discovered that the people they found waiting for the UTM meeting were MCP and PP members.

 

Immediately, a heated fight followed because some UTM people said MCP and PP people must stay to attend the meeting while others completely  opposed the presence of MCP and PP since the UTM meeting was an internal one.  One of the people who opposed was Winiko.

 

Andrew Kamlopa said “Let us allow them to stay. Ngati zalakwika zalakwika kale. Alakwitsa ndi akuluakulu athu powauza (a PP and MCP) kuti kuli zokambirana.”

 

As the quarrel became heated and everyone spoke on top of their voices, a watchman from the St John’s Catholic Church came and told them that he was going to call Police.

 

Then everybody sobered up because they feared that the Police were going to expose their secret talks.

 

At last, five people went aside to discuss how to handle the situation. These included Patricia Kaliati, Noel Masangwi, Loveness Gondwe and Callista Chapola. They met in a car and agreed to ask the other parties politely to leave for the UTM meeting to continue.

 

After MCP and PP left, about 66 UTM people were left to discuss how UTM can go into coalition with MCP and PP.

 

CHAKWERA, CHILIMA AND JOYCE BANDA MET

 

In the meeting, Andrew Kamlopa reported that Lazarus Chakwera, Soulos Chilima and Joyce Banda already to discuss possibility of a coalition.

 

The IPOR opinion report which predicted DPP winning created panic for coalition talks. Kamlopa said all the three were told by a Chancellor College political scientist that DPPnwas going to win and none of the three parties will win the election.

 

Chilima was advised to go into coalition with MCP. But at first Chilima said “That the last thing I am going to do. I will win this election on my own.” Chilima left for Dubai after this.

 

LETTER FROM INDIA

 

Then two things happened after Chilima came back from India.

 

First, Andrew Chapola told Chilima that Government knew everything about *Chilima’s Rigging Machine* and *rigging plan* .

 

Secondly, Chilima received a letter from Airtel India which is the headquarters of Airtel in the world.

 

CHIDANTI READS LETTER FROM INDIA

 

In the meeting, Chidanti Malunga read the Letter from India from his laptop.

 

The letter tells Chilima that it had come to the attention of Airtel Headquarters in India that Chilima was planning to rig the election by using Airtel towers, database and technical employees.

 

The letter tells Chilima that Airtel is not a political organization. The goals of Airtel are purely business. Airtel India will fire any of its employees involved in Chilima’s plan and get them arrested because *rigging is criminal.*

 

Chidanti Malunga concluded by telling the meeting that Chilima has agreed to start coalition talks with MCP and PP because his rigging plan has been discovered.

 

So far, the plan is that Chilima will stand as President of the coalition. Chakwera has accepted to be Vice President to Chilima. But Joyce Banda is refusing the position of the Second Vice President. She instead wants a new position of Prime Minister to be created in Malawi for her.

 

REACTIONS 

 

After Chidanti finished reporting, there was an immediate angry reaction from some members like Newton Kambala, Winiko and Allan Ngumuya who said a coalition between MCP and UTM is a nonstarter.

 

The meeting ended in serious disagreements and they have agreed to meet again on Saturday, 17th November.

 

Efforts to get reaction from opposition parties spokesperson proved futile as some denounced the authenticity of the alleged “UTM, MCP and PP Meeting minutes”

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Why does DPP always win Malawi general elections?

 

By Prince Yamie

 

The reason why the governing Democratic Progressive (DPP) always win with landslide victory is that they have a brilliant team of strategists,great team work and a royal base,these factors makes it easier to spread out to the regions which they are weak and garner votes.

 

The most Paramount is their ability to leave the masses in suspense on running mate post which very often results into great success.

The suitable candidate is carefully chosen to make a difference. Patience is what they have and it always pay of.

 

Currently we know the running mate of the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President Chakwera.

 

We know who might be a running mate to the United Transformation Movement (UTM) Saulos Chilima.

 

In all this DPP has the upper hand,they are studying the floor,next year by January or February,the whole country will be thrilled with their choice which will paralyze the other candidates.

 

2019 TRIPARTITE ELECTIONS REGISTRATION

 

Total number is 6.8 million registered voters.This is how the regions have registered:

 

North 13.59 %

Centre 42.55%

South 43.85%

 

In 2014 Elections.

 

MCP got 48 seats.

 

DPP got 50 seats.

 

PP got 26 seats.

 

UDF got 14 seats.

 

Independent Candidates seats 52.

 

With time everything has changed.

 

DPP lost few seats and got more seats from Peoples Party (PP), independents candidates and others.

 

As we speak DPP has more than 10 Members of Parliament (MPs) in northern Region and great number of seats in the central region as well.

 

MCP has only two or one seat in the north.

 

PP  had 14 while  as of now the party has only six or seven seats, the rest have gone to DPP, one to MCP.

 

With these facts PP is no longer strong in the North. DPP needs to get more Support from the Northerners. That 13.59% of votes it’s a puzzle piece to finalize the equation.

 

From the results i did  with My Tumbuka friends,they seem to like Alliance For Democracy (AFORD) but only if it’s headed by Frank Mwenefumbo.

 

Frank is a sharp cheddar in North and he is the guy that DPP needs that side (My Opinion) People that side love DPP but they just desire few of their own in the Party.

 

My second opinion is that if DPP could get a Tumbuka person as a running mate,that will change the tides.

 

UTM they can try with Richard Msowoya but the guy has run out of gas,he is no longer a favorite besides that next year all the odds were against him in his Constituency.

 

My last Opinion

 

Is to continue the electoral alliance with UDF and find a mutual ground that favors them both..

 

With UDF..Machinga, Zomba,Mangochi Titenga, be assured of this. This is what i think and it shall remain as my opinions.

 

DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post

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How Chilima helped DPP win the 2014 Malawi general elections

Chilima and Mutharika
Chilima (L)and President Peter Mutharika (r)

Written by Patseni Mauka

Last Saturday, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi and leader of UTM party Dr. Saulos Chilima rattled Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members when he said he helped them win the 2014 general elections in which he ran together with Professor Peter Mutharika. Chilima was working as a Managing Director of Airtel Malawi before quitting early 2014 to join politics after Peter Mutharika chose him as his running mate.

After having huge differences on how the country is being managed, Chilima and many other former DPP members founded the United Transformation Movement which has just been registered as UTM party.

Despite Chilima thanking Peter Mutharika many times for choosing him as his running mate, DPP members say Chilima is not grateful and should always thank Mutharika and DPP for giving him an opportunity to be Vice President. DPP members talk like being a running mate is just an election legal requirement and does not contribute anything to political strategy. This is far from the truth.

A running mate by definition is a person running together with another person on a joint ticket during an election. Running mates may be chosen, by custom or by law, to balance the ticket geographically, ideologically or in terms of personality. The main objective is to create a more widespread appeal for the ticket. Presidential candidates usually chose someone who they believe will assist them and their parties to appeal to a larger base of people.

Malawi law requires presidential candidates to have a running mate. Presidential candidates are free to choose anyone from their party or outside the party. The running mate name and that of the presidential candidate are written on the ballot paper. The only difference is that the presidential candidate’s face is also on the ballot paper. According to law, the President is elected together with the Vice President.

In Malawi, where many people vote on regional or tribal lines, presidential candidates usually try to choose a running mate from a different region from their own. This is done to amass votes from their region and that of the running mate.

Bingu WA Mutharika
Late Bingu Wa Mutharika; believed to have stashed billions in foreign banks

DPP lost power in 2012 due to the death, in office, of President Bingu Wa Mutharika, two years before the end of his second term. At that time, DPP was at it’s lowest point in terms of popularity since it’s formation. The then Vice President, Joyce Banda, and her newly formed People’s Party took over power and instantly fell out of favor with Malawians because of the infamous Cashgate financial scandal. Joyce Banda sealed her fate with her choice of a mediocre running mate who was a laughing stock.

Malawians had to look back to DPP and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) for salvation. MCP had new leadership from the world outside mainstream politics. DPP’s Mutharika, a proven failure in different portfolios that he was given by his older brother Bingu, would have to compete with Lazarous Chakwera, who presented a totally new beginning to MCP and a new face in Malawian politics, albeit with just church leadership experience.

DPP was desperate for a new face and someone from the central region to help the party win elections. They searched within the party and found nobody. They needed someone young enough to appeal to the youth vote, yet accomplished enough to convince voters. They found none within the party. They looked for someone within the party who had no skeletons in the closet and found none that possessed the other qualities . They had to look outside the party and settled for a brilliant and highly successful young man in the corporate world. That man was Saulos Chilima.

Mutharika took a lot of time to think about his running mate because he had to be careful to select a person who would help him win. Such was the care taken that he convinced Chilima to be his running mate just three months before the election. Many people were surprised how Saulos Chilima could leave his comfortable job to join politics on an opposition party ticket. They believed he was just fine with his job as the top boss for Airtel Malawi. That was true and it took four visits by DPP gurus to his office to persuade him to leave his job and be Mutharika’s running mate.

Whoever helped Mutharika make the decision to find a running mate outside the party and outside the existing politicians saw that the party could not win with a team comprised of old timers. If the running mate position was not important for DPP to win as some DPP members and apologists want us to believe, they could have just selected anybody within the party to be Mutharika’s running mate. They could have chosen Ben Phiri, Nicholas Dausi, Goodall Gondwe or any of the blue painted cadets as running mate and still win.

Saulos Chilima
Saulos Chilima vying to unseat his Boss President Peter Mutharika with no structures in place

Chilima presented a fresh start. Unveiling Chilima, an accomplished economist, businessman and manager at a press briefing in Blantyre after presenting his nomination papers at Comesa hall, Mutharika said, “my running mate is a successful career man with huge experience in running business affairs as evidenced by the way he has turned around business at Airtel Malawi. It is that track record that has convinced me to appoint him as a running mate.”

Chilima vigorously campaigned with Peter Mutharika. They criss-crossed the country convincing all possible voters to vote for DPP. Surely, the voters did not only hear Mutharika’s voice. They also heard Chilima’s voice. It’s obvious that this team working together convinced the millions of voters that voted for DPP. It’s also obvious that the strategy to chose a running mate with Chilima’s qualities worked for DPP. Without a running mate like Chilima, Mutharika would not have won.

Those who point at similar voting patterns to previous elections as reason for DPP to say Chilima did not help them win elections are just deluded. Similar voting patterns do not mean same people voting for the same party for the same reasons. One might have voted for DPP in 2009 because of liking something about Bingu Wa Mutharika but voted for DPP in 2014 because of another reason, like Saulos Chilima’s track record and brilliance.

After using Chilima to get votes in 2014, DPP should not change the tune now that Chilima is leading UTM, a party that has completely changed the political landscape. DPP and it’s paid apologists can only fool themselves as Malawians embrace Chilima and UTM, the only hope for meaningful change in Malawi. Just like Chilima helped to sell Mutharika and DPP, he with the whole UTM membership are promoting the UTM brand like never seen before. Everyday, the talk is about Chilima and UTM. Chilima helped DPP win and now he is going to help UTM win.

DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post

 

 

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Z Allan Ntata’s Uncommon Sense: REFLECTIONS ON THE MALAWIAN VICE PRESIDENCY DILEMMA

Chilima withZeinab
Chilima mocked over BBC HARDtalk interview

During an interview with the vice president of Malawi not too long ago, Zeinab Badawi of the BBC asked why the Malawian vice President, Saulosi Chilima, was not using his position as Vice President of Malawi to stop the rampant corruption in the country. The question was asked in the context that Chilima had launched his own political party to challenge incumbent president Peter Mutharika for the presidency in the elections scheduled to take place in May 2019.

 

Badawi’s question demonstrates a serious and longstanding misunderstanding of the Malawian executive governance framework. It is assumed, as it should be, that a vice president should have powers in his own right to do something about policies in Malawi such as the fight against corruption. The reality of Malawi’s administrative and political framework, however, is quite different and does not necessarily follow the basic logic presumed by Badawi.

In order for anyone interested in Malawi to understand the peculiarities of the Malawian ice presidency, one had to consider the circumstances that brought the office into being.

Muluzi

Back in 1994 when the country was transitioning from a single party dictatorial regime to a multi party democracy, changes in the constitution were required. One of these was to provide for the country to have a vice presidency as none had existed during the one party regime. Unfortunately, those charged with reviewing and revising the constitution were the very people who were interested in the politics of the country, with most of them even harbouring presidential ambitions. This conflict of interest, considered minor at the time, produced an impotent vice presidency that is simply present as a figurehead, with no power, no government portfolio and no influence of any kind.  Those writing the position into the constitution, looking ahead to the possibility that they may become the next president, considered the idea of sharing real executive power between the president and the vice president to be undesirable.

The gravity of this mistake was evident from the first presidency of the multiparty era. Baikili Muluzi soon fell out with his vice president and all relationships between presidents and vice presidents in Malawi have consistently followed the trend.

 

When I became Legal Counsel to late president Bingu wa Mutharika in 2009, I soon found myself in the middle of a similar standoff. Barely a year into his second term as president Mutharika, who has previously fallen out with Dr. Cassim Chilumpha, his vice president in his first term, fell out again with Joyce Banda, his vice president for the second term. Having helplessly observed this recurring drama from a distance during the Muluzi years and during Bingu’s first term, I finally thought an opportunity has finally presented itself for me to offer what I considered a lasting solution to the problematic situation.

 

Bingu WA Mutharika
Late Bingu Wa Mutharika; believed to have stashed billions in foreign banks

As Mutharika grappled to deal with a vice president that had been forced out of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), formed her own party and was then by all accounts a member of the opposition, I discussed my proposal with then Attorney General, the late Mackson Mbendera.

My proposal was aimed at correcting the root cause of the problem – the constitutional mess that has been created by the writers of the constitution.  If the president were in the circumstances to ask the constitutional court to examine the provisions of the constitution on the roles and prevailing situations between the president, the vice president, the executive and the cabinet, perhaps this would provide a solution that would correct the problem for future generations.

 

It is provided in Section 79 of the Constitution of Malawi that “there shall be a First Vice President …(who) shall assist the President and who shall exercise powers and perform the functions conferred on the First Vice President by this Constitution and by any act of Parliament and by the President.”

 

It is further provided in Section 84 of the Republic of Malawi Constitution that “if the First Vice President and Second Vice President dies or resigns from office, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired period of that term by a person appointed by the President.”

My observations in this regard was and remains that Section 84 is not clear as to what manner a resignation of a Vice President should take or whether a Vice President can be said to have resigned through their conduct. Furthermore, in its current state, Section 84 is ambiguous and the reason Vice Presidents have been able to behave in a manner that undermines government as the section’s silence on the manner which a resignation of a vice President can take seems to offer protection to insubordinate vice presidents who do not hand in a resignation letter even when they strongly disagree with the policies of the President and of the Government. The section also provides protection to the Vice Presidents to the extent that a Vice President can form their own political Party and become a president of an opposition party, and yet expect to still deputise for the President at Cabinet meetings as stipulated under section 92 of the Constitution.

This is the state of affairs that continues to bring embarrassment to the nation and, because of the confusion and controversy it is causes, it also affects negatively the country’s political and social economic development.

Additionally, it does not appear that when Section 84 was drafted the question of its potential eventual inconsistency with Sections 79, Section 92(1) and Section 92 (3) (b) of the Constitution was considered. The meaning of the word ‘resign’, was also not defined, examined and/or interpreted.

My advice to the president to institute a presidential referral was based on these important legal points. Had this matter been pursued to its ultimate constitution, Malawi today would have had an interpretation of this important constitutional matter and the situations regarding rebellious vice presidents, or those that fall out with their presidents would have been clarified.

Joyce Banda
Joyce Banda Leader of the Peoples Party

Unfortunately, when Joyce Banda ascended to the presidency on the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in 2012, he did not see it as necessary to continue the referral, and thus Presidential Referral Number 1 of 2011 died a natural death.

I would submit that this reluctance to solve problems with future generations in mind and this tendency to only pursue self interest and only deal with governance matters that have immediate impact on the current leaders personally is the reason we are finding ourselves in embarrassing situations today regarding the vice presidency. This past week, we had a president who even decided childishly to omit even listing the vice president as part of government and cabinet. President Peter Mutharika, frustrated by the situation obtaining with his vice president, has taken it upon himself to defy the provisions of the constitution, and to announce a cabinet, which, according to the edicts of the constitution, is essentially illegal, and thus should be a catalyst for his own impeachment.

Perhaps it is time to resurrect Presidential Referral Number 1 of 2011 and have the courts give us direction on the issue. This would end the embarrassment we have to bear as country both here at home and internationally.

Allan Ntata
Z Allan Ntata

Allan Ntata’s Column can be read every Sunday on the Maravi Post

 

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Chakwera too incompetent to comment on DPP government business

 

 

By Mwai Nkhoma

 

In his statement reacting to the cabinet reshuffle President Peter Mutharika has effected, the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera has missed the point and failed in his attempts to circumvent the truth.

 

As usual, he the same man full of emotions with a penchant for high-sounding that mean nothing but show his emptiness of mind.

 

At no point before has he ever demonstrated he has the personality of a head of state he craves. He is no different in this statement. What he has maintained is his full-of-hot-air language.

 

To begin with the cabinet remains lean. Mutharika and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has maintained a 20-member cabinet. This is something Chakwera has failed to acknowledge. Chakwera in his jealousy cannot applaud for being the first Malawi leader since 1994 to maintain a lean cabinet for a period of over four years.

 

And he talks about tribalism. There is only one member of the cabinet, who is also a deputy minister, who comes from the President’s home district of Thyolo. In addition, not everyone who comes from the Southern Region is from the tribe where Mutharika comes from.

 

There is tendency by small minded people like Chakwera to think cabinet is the government. Here is a little lecture: the executive is only a small part of large entity we call government. APM has worked hard to ensure a good representation of Malawians from across the regional and gender divide in senior public appointments. And he has achieved a lot in this respect. This is  a fact Chakwera doesnt acknowledge. Or choses not to see.

 

Mutharika has appointed woman to various senior positions in government and in the public sector. Chakwera does not see that Address Malata, vice chancellor of Malawi University of Science and Technology.and Jane Ansah MEC chairperson are women. Mutharika has appointed women for senior roles in the judiciary, in the parastatal boards, in embassies and in many other government departments.

 

Needless to say, his executive is not even to the things that he is accusing APM of. His excutive committee is dominated by Central Region and his Lilongwe District in particular. The representation of women is vert poor.

 

This fallen preacher preaches what he does not practice. Such is Chakwera’s hypocrisy.

 

We know that Chakwera has a small mind. He does not think like a political leader but an executive director of a briefcase organization.

 

I wish he could rise above pettiness and show himself as a man capable to run an entity as big as a nation.

 

Throughout the period he has been MCP leader, he has come out as a man not made for political leadership. MCP has imploded on his watch.

 

Lastly, I urge Chakwera to focus on the mess he is causing in the party where he is imposing MP candidates leading to the worst divisions and disgruntlement MCP has ever suffered in years. He should leave government business who can manage.

DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post

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Who is misleading Malawi President Mutharika on state affairs’ questionable decisions?

 

By Nenenji Mlangeni

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi President Peter Mutharika is a learned Professor of Law that the nation including donors and development agencies expect reasonable decision in running the shows of the county.

Malawians in 2014 gave Mutharika a second chance on the nation’s affairs after he failed miserably as ministers of education and constitutional affairs.

But this time is to serve the entire nation, entrusted to lead the country into productive one.

The case since he attained Malawi’s leadership in 2014 is different, especially when such a learned caliber of him fail to tick on a small country like Malawi with 17 million people when comparing other neighboring nations; Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and among others.

The nation understands now that the learned professor who does not know local politics and developmental agenda as he has been long time in the USA, some of his ideas are being parroted into dustbin by his close family members, the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gurus and friends.

These aids, family members know pretty well that the professor can check their personal motive of swindling Malawians’ hard earned taxes to fill their pockets.

The greedy aids have made Mutharika to be the parrot; praying his mind that they continue to steal from Malawians.

This is the reason the learned professor has been forced to stand again in 2019n Malawi’s general elections, when all in all the greedy aids know that Mutharika is not ticking.

Inside sources some ago disclosed that Mutharika wanted to step down to pay way for able people to run the shows of the country, but the same agents convinced him to continue ruling Malawi for their own good not the nation.

The learned Professor has been making questionable state affairs decisions that left many wondering whether is in control or not.

Sometimes he has been quite when the nation expects him to bite or speak to Malawians as the citizen number one.

Just for the past weeks, Mutharika according to DPP inner circles, was advised to allow the vice president Saulos Chilima’s grouping United Transformation Movement (UTM) be registered but the same greedy agents convinced the President to force the Registrar of Political Parties to block the move.

This prompted the court to intervene but with the same greedy face, the professor forced the former Attorney General Charles Mhango to seek legal explanation from Supreme Court which was turned down.

Mhango was forced to resign from his post until Kalekeni Kaphale came into being again with the same force which the same court dismissed, now that UTM is a registered party.

With the same saliva for power and money, the same agents turned down the inclusive cabinet that was drafted.

Now the insensitive, tribalistic and regionalistic cabinet is sworn in on Friday, the nation is still questioning the learned professor’s wisdom.

In the new cabinet, some members including Aggrey Massi, Emmanuel Fabiano, Jean Kalirani, Bright Msaka, Grace Chiumia, Goodall Gondwe, Samuel Tembenu and among others don’t add to their allocated ministries.

Mutharika was even advised to include six women (only three) in the cabinet coupled with regional representation but the same greedy face turned down the advice to their personal interests.

Not only that Mutharika was advised to include Chilima into the cabinet as constitutionally required nut the same greedy face turned down the advice.

Now the learned professor has a daunting task to convince Malawians of why Charles Mchaka, DPP Southern region governor is now in the cabinet with questionable character.

So, who are these individuals misleading the already failed professor?

With due respect to sources confided in, three power hungry DPP inner circles were identified including First Lady Getrude Mutharika, Kondwani Nankhumwa (Local Government Minister and DPP Vice President for the South) and Benson (Ben) Phiri, DPP Director of elections.

 

First Lady Getrude Mutharika

 

She assumed the role of the Malawi First Lady June 21, 2014. Mrs Mutharika (nee Maseko) is a nurse by professional and former Member of Parliament (MP) for Balaka Central.

 

Since she became the First Lady, his husband’s characters of running shows of the country has not yet improved but keep on making silly mistakes which could have been avoided.

 

Mrs Mutharika is said to be controlling all affairs of the country hoping that she amass worthy and power to succeed her husband.

 

Being a politician, the First Lady wants to prove the Malawi leader that she can be trusted with power for the nation hence Mutharika bowing to his wife.

 

Kondwani Nankhumwa

 

The former broadcaster and Journalist, who is the current DPP vice president for the South, Local Government Minister, Mulanje South lawmaker and Leader of the House in Malawi Parliament.

 

Nankhumwa has just amassed questionable worthy in four years since 2014 that he hopes to take reigns of DPP leadership after President Mutharika.

 

Nankhumwa is the trusted Mutharika’s boy that he commands the cabinet when matters of national important come in.

 

He repositions him serves as the second in command after Chilima part ways with Mutharika. Nankhumwa keeps advising the president wrongly.

 

Ben Phiri (The DPP government architect )

 

Introduction

By way of background, it is our view that one of the reasons why Malawi still lags behind in terms of development, 54 years after independence and 24 years after attaining multiparty democracy is the tendency to allow dodgy and crooked characters to be at the center of the country’s leadership.Unless as a country we can take the time to put those aspiring to lead us under the microscope and ensure that they are honest men and women, we will always be in a vicious cycle of poverty and corruption. This is why fake and dishonest public personalities such as Ben Phiri need to be exposed. Fellow Malawians, we are now taking the trouble to do this for the benefit of all Malawians.

Malawi is known for excellent development policies and strategies which are products of numerous meetings and brainstorming by its excellent public and private officials. However, when it comes to implementation, the policies are headed by selfish, crooked and incompetent politicians who have no clue about anything.

In Malawi, you just have to gather courage, create a fake profile of yourself or have no profile at all and speak confidently to get a high post in a ruling party. Once you impress during rallies or radio interviews, you create scores of hand clappers who are always ready to elevate your image even when they know nothing about you! The rest of the population will follow blindly, no questions asked. It’s the impression and image that you portray that matters. Unfortunately smart, educated and experienced people think politics is dirty and they can only participate by voting during elections. No wonder, the courageous, crooked and incompetent people are still gaining ground and taking turns in sinking Malawi.

Ben Phiri as DPP Field Marshall

One of the dodgiest and most crooked characters that has undeservedly dominated Malawian politics is the man who calls himself Benson Malunga Phiri. The man who calls himself Ben Phiri is 39 years old. At such a young age, he has through devious and corrupt means amassed so much wealth that many non-questioning Malawians believe he is genuinely successful and that anything he says should be taken seriously. This is a tragedy. It is through this political manipulation that Ben Phiri made himself Director of Field Operations in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. This position, mind you, does not exist in the DPP constitution, but virtually NO-ONE- From the party’s president Peter Mutharika, to the Party’s top brass governing council- have the nerve to tell him that his position does not exist. On the contrary, you would easily mistake him for the President or simply owner of the party. He calls the shots. He controls the President and as seen lately, can just wake up and hold a one man press conference on behalf of the entire party!

Most of the things that come from his mouth are lies! Lies are like the air that he breathes. He has managed to create a fake profile of himself that people are slowly starting to believe. His followers already believe him. Say anything contrary to what their master says about himself, you will be attacked by these rabid blind followers. The lies start from his name.

Who really is Ben Phiri?

Ben Phiri’s original name is not really Benson Phiri. The man has constantly changed his name to suit the purposes of conniving and manipulation that he has met along the path of his life. His original name, the one that he was given at birth will not be disclosed at this point in order to protect our source. The fact, however, is that Ben first changed his name to Benson Nkasala. Mr Nkasala was his stepfather. While in secondary school he decided to start calling himself Benson Phiri. He changed his name from Nkasala to Phiri in order to disassociate himself from the poverty of his mother!. Mr. Phiri was his well to do uncle. Why are we going into all this trouble of digging his names? Hold on to your seats for next is the illustration of how crooked this man is and why he should not be anywhere near the leadership of this country.

After failing to get the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) several times, under the name Benson Phiri, he went to the United Kingdom in search of greener pastures. If you listen to his radio and TV interviews, he says he went to study and work. Then he says he came back to Malawi to ‘serve’ the country during the section 65 crisis where the opposition and government of Bingu wa Mutharika were in a deadlock over prioritizing application of the constitutional section or passing the national budget. All these are lies!

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Cabinet reshuffle reveals more about Mutharika’s mediocrity and crookedness

Peter Mutharika
Malawi President Mutharika

By Patseni Mauka

 

Yesterday, Malawians were greeted with news of a cabinet reshuffle. This reshuffle, like many others needs deep scrutiny. A close look at the reshuffle will help to know Mutharika’s way of thinking. Obviously, he didn’t just wake up, write names of people, do a raffle draw and reveal the latest members of his cabinet. He had to think. I am interested in the thinking of this 80 year old, very tired Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate.

Around the world many people try so hard to know what world leaders think. Since presidents are usually very powerful, it’s important to know how they think, what advice they accept and what they discuss with other government leaders. There are many professionals specialized in deducing how leaders in different parts of the world think.

Among other changes, Mutharika has renamed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security to Ministry of Homeland Security. Who is to head this tremendously important Ministry? Nicholas Dausi who was trained by the notorious Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP) which were the paramilitary wing of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The Young Pioneers were a major instrument for former President Dr Banda’s one party state dictatorship and domestic terrorism.

Young Pioneers had guns, conducted espionage and intelligence operations, and were Banda’s most trusted bodyguards. Kamuzu trusted his life with people like Dausi. Dausi served Kamuzu with utmost loyalty and obviously played a part in those dark days. He knows and practices absolute loyalty, good or bad. He served MCP during the dark days and left it after serving up to the position of Vice President. Apart from his experience in clandestine activities, his other popular qualification is speaking bombastic English, existing or not, applicable in context or not, understood by him or not, just bombs of English language.

Dausi will be deputized by the foul mouthed DPP Regional Governor for the South, Charles Mchacha. Mchacha, who last time I heard about his education was when he was sitting for the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), has no meaningful academic credentials. He was writing his MSCE while serving as Deputy Minister of Finance. Strange things happen in my country’s politics

A few weeks ago, at a rally in Mulanje, Mchacha called opposition UTM women mahule (whores or prostitutes). UTM’s sin being giving DPP sleepless nights as a serious contender to take government next year. Mchacha repeated the same at Comesa Trade Fair Ground in Blantyre, in the presence of President Peter Mutharika, foreign dignitaries and many other Malawians. He again called all women in UTM mahule (whore or prostitutes). He stated that being a whore is one of the criteria for joining UTM. What did the President do? He and the first lady laughed! He obviously enjoyed it.

Mchacha’s main qualification is a loud mouth. He can’t be employed anywhere else and has mastered the art of speaking obscenities to keep his employment with DPP. He will never stop this because, credit to him, he has intelligently noted that his boss, President Peter Mutharika enjoys obscene language. That’s one of the reasons he has rewarded him with a ministerial post. Mutharika is unlucky to have been educated and hold the post of president. He wishes he could curse just like Mchacha but that would destroy the image of what he pretends to be. So when people like Mchacha curse on his behalf, he privately applauds them and of course rewards them!

It looks to me that among other objectives, the reshuffle is a government structural change with eyes on the 2019 general elections. The two characters now at the helm of security in Malawi are hard core bootlickers. They are never ashamed of doing anything to defend their source of income, government and party positions. They have no manners. They can do anything to ensure ruling DPP remains in power. The cursing by Mchacha is a desperate attempt to silence opposition which is giving DPP a tough time.

We have also seen Dausi many times engaging the media in futile and many times embarrassing attempts to defend DPP and Peter Mutharika. When Mutharika got a lot of pressure from Malawians to pay back a dubious 145 million Kwacha he received from an unscrupulous businessman, he sent Dausi to announce the payback. Dausi looked Malawians in the eye and smilingly announced the return of the money. He has no shame whatsoever.

Dausi and Mchacha’s qualifications in the eyes of APM are loyalty at any cost. This is why he has brought this terrible team to head the most important ministry as we head for elections. There is some dirty work that Mutharika wants these shameless gangsters to do in the security system. He has not appointed them to improve security in Malawi. There are many capable Malawians who can handle security competently. There is no good reason to appoint mediocre characters to head security just when we need proper security as we go towards a potentially volatile election.

 

Their appointment shows the mediocrity hidden in Mutharikas mind. He likes these mediocre and crooked characters because, given his miserable performance as President for the last four and half years, he can’t win under a free and fair election. He has to use crooked means to win elections. This reshuffle is just one of the many things Mutharika will do to win elections. His crookedness should be a warning to all stakeholders to monitor every angle of the electoral process.

 

DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post

 

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My Take On It US Elections 2018: The MEC came, they witnessed, they learned

Commissioner-Karim-MEC-Chair

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world. Acts 1:8, NLT/NCV

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson, Justice Dr. Jane Ansah, who is also Supreme Court Judge, left the US today, after witnessing this year’s US Midterm elections. The elections result saw the Republican Party swoop a 2-point majority in the Senate – the higher House in Congress, while the Democratic Party also recorded a whopping win with over 200 seats and took back the majority of the House of Representatives. This snatches the majority status the Republicans have had for the past two years.

Apart from witnessing the election in real time, the MEC Chair and her entourage (MEC Commissioner Mathanga), also attended a four-day activity based interactive sessions around election issues, data collection and processing. The objectives of the training workshops were that participants would be able to demonstrate the role of election data in election administration; illustrate how election data impact the policy and operational work of their office; present data in a compelling manner to influence legislation and election reform.

The participants were also involved in other interactive inforgraphics using data to engage voters; they also harnessed their skills on the use of election data to tell the election story accurately; and to analyze election data to enhance election integrity.

These are important topics for the Malawi Electoral Commission to harness in their armory as the country steers toward Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government elections in 2019. Learning from the master captains of democracy, who themselves have experienced turbulence in the matter of the integrity of national elections, it is laudable that Malawi is involved in ensuring its election process is pristine and unencumbered with abuse and other improper handling of the election process.

Our democracy is at risk if the election process is undermined in any way; ensuring that we get it right all the time, will ensure that people will come out in its totality – all eligible persons of voting age – on election day, cast their vote, and elect officials that will represent the country. Most of all, the election shall be free from fear from any quarters in the country – government, opposition, or civil society.

As the MEC prepares to make this election the best it has ever had, we call upon other players in the arena, such as the Police to be diligent and ensure that they always act professionally in performing their mandates. The politicians in the government on their part, should refrain from being arrogant and threatening members of the opposition.

Please remember: There has only ever been one Life President. He passed away in 1997, after losing power in 1994. All elected officials are in their posh seats at the behest of the electorate, please learn to serve their interests, not yours. When you serve your own interests, you will be dealt the shove electors served their representative on November 6, 2018 in the US Midterm elections.

Long live genuine democracy!

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