A governance activist anf fierce critic of President Peter Mutharika has claimed there is a plot to eliminate Malawi vice president Saulos Chilima in and has advised the Head of State to ensure his deputy is protected and given due tasks to help him in governing the nation.
Activist Z Allan Ntata told reporters in Lilongwe on Tuesday during a news conference under the banner of ‘Reform to Transform’ movement that sources within the tank and file of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have revealed the plot to do away with Chilima.
The former legal advisor to late president Bingu wa Mutharika held the news conference joinly with owner of Dziko Radio Chikumbutso Mtumodzi, also a former presidential spokesman during Bingu reign.
He advised President Mutharika against “sidelining of the vice president in favour of some dubious characters.”
Ntata said there is abundant evidence of a trend that Malawians are so familiar with from previous presidents, a culture of distrust that leads to disastrous cracks in the administration.
“The final losers, in all this, are the most vulnerable among us and the tax payers,” he said.
The Vice President, said Ntata, cannot just be ignored or wished away as they were elected together.
“Impeachment, which can easily backfire, is the only constitutional way to dump him before the administrative term expires. And since this will not happen, the Vice President should be allowed to earn his perks by bringing in the much-needed fresh perspective. The media, the opposition and groups like us – Reform to Transform – are not any less Malawian. We must be listened to if not taken more seriously than the self-serving advisors,” he said.
Ntata said despite not lending credence to claims that the DPP is ill-advisedly planning to eliminate the vice president in order to give the president an opportunity to appoint a new vice president that will be more acceptable to the politburo of the party as a presidential candidate for 2019 elections, the movement will not throw caution to the wind.
“But since this is the talk within the rank and file of DPP, a wise President would dismiss this kind of thinking before it takes root. We urge the president to not only stand by his vice president, but to also give him space and the wherewithal to take on some of the challenges that he, the president is personally clueless to address,” said Ntata.
He cited recent delegation of some ministers instead of the vice president to international forums meant for the president such as the AU.
Recently, Mutharika has been delegating Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr George Chaponda to such meetings.
But Chaponda in a prepared statement his ministry wanted to issue to the media argued thatt “the responsibilities and domain of Foreign Ministers world over lie in foreign and international relations, hence their constant presence in foreign–related engagements”.
Ntata’s claims has added intrigue into Mutharika succession battle though DPP spokesman Francis Kasaila and government spokesperson Jappie Mhango have also stressed the 76 –year-old President will seek re-election in 2019.
Mutharika himself is on record saying he will seek another mandate in 2019 .
He rejected rumours that he would only serve one term.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :