Chiumia sorry over ‘Life President’ remarks: Minister says Mutharika time to rule Malawi is limited by law

  • Life President remarks sparked a backlash
  • Sorry Mr President, you have term limits by law

Culture and Sports Minister Grace Chiumia has apologised to President Peter Mutharika over comments she made suggesting that the incumbent is president for life.

Chiumia: Is it too late now to say sorry? Yeah, I know that I let you down Mutharika, you aren't president for life

Chiumia: Is it too late now to say sorry? Yeah, I know that I let you down Mutharika, you aren’t president for life

Chiumia made the remarks at the fundraising dinner of the Mulhako wa Alhomwe in Lilongwe on Friday where Mutharika was guest of honour.

She referred to Mutharika, 76 as the “Life President”, appeared to suggest the Malawi leader should hold on to power, remarks which were not disputed by the President.

Rafik Hajat of the Institute for Policy Interaction, a think tank, said it was unfortunate Mutharika did not challenge the remarks which would denigrate his reputation.

But her comment led to  furious backlash by Malawians including the influential Catholic Church through its  its governance arm, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) who branded the remarks – the making of dictatorship.

The sports minister has since apologised for “any hurt caused” and insisted that it was slip of a tongue and that she did not in anyway trumpet the change of con

Chiumia admitted that her remarks triggered insults directed at the President.

“I would like to apologise to the President. Let people castigate me and not the President,” said Chiumia trying to put a positive spin.

Chiumia insisted her remarks were “innocent misstate which everybody can make.”

She stressed that Life President is non issue and that “Malawians should not take this seriously.”

Chiumia pointed out that the Constitution is clear that President tenure is limited to five years which is extended through elections to another five years and after two consecutive five-years, a Head of State is mandated by the law to retire.

She said Mutharika is no exception, he has to seek votes from Malawians in 2019 to renew his mandate or vote him out then if he wins, he will have to retire in 2024.

The Minister said: “The Constitution is there and nobody is above the law.”

The life-presidency remarks comes after DPP senior politicians,  regional governor for the north Kenneth Sanga told a rally that Mutharika’s party will be in power until 2099.

And secretary general Ecklem Kudontoni  said DPP will until keep on winning the elections for the next 50 years.

Also commenting recently in Presidential Advisor on National Unity, Symon Vuwa Kaunda who said Mutharika will remain President of Malawi even if elections were held today, saying ” there is no one else.”

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29 thoughts on “Chiumia sorry over ‘Life President’ remarks: Minister says Mutharika time to rule Malawi is limited by law”

  1. Fisi Dausi says:

    Kodi atonga munakhalika bwanji always first to turn presidents into life presidencies. Aleke turned Kamuzu into a life president. Pano inu a Chiumia, eni ake a lomwe ali phe sakuzitchula zimenezo. Ndiye inuyo mwatengeka. Mukaterono zimenezo nkuyenda, inuyo muona akukuthamangitsani.

    Mapeto ake ife tizivutika kulemba pano zokumverani chisoni, shupiti zanu. Don’t do that again. If there’s nothing to say just keep quiet osati kumangobwebweta ngati munthu wa maskyawi.

  2. akalamuche says:

    Kusowa life president ndie mpaka munthalika

  3. True Patriot says:

    This is the only and last stroke that ends this overzealous minister’s political career in DPP. This party is so ruthless as to allow an intruder to spoil their grandiose! I’m afraid she has messed up big time and she will not be forgiven. Mark my words, there will soon be a cabinet reshuffle and she will be dropped!

    This lady didn’t make an innocent mistake. Rather she was assigned to say what she said by members of the inner circle to test the waters, so to speak! She was the sacrificial lamb, poor soul…

  4. charo cha yehova says:

    So Nowadays everything which this DPP governmentsay is a joke, we are not gonna take them seriously everything they make its a joke so its a party full of comedians

  5. Chechamba says:

    Imwe a Grace, ngati wochangamuka Atcheya analephera ndi open ndi 3rd third term bids inuyo muli nurse ku Ekwendeni Mission Hospital ya Livingstonia CCAP ndewanuyu watuloyu angakhale Life President olo ALomwe ataswana kotani?????????????????

  6. bulutu says:

    It takes wise people to apologize after making a mistake. Most of you would simply have been pompous and could have gone into oblivion. This is gone and let’s forge ahead in the fight against our enemies:- hunger, disease and envy!!!

  7. Charombanthu says:

    “It is better to keep you mouth shut and let people think you are a fool than open it and remove all doubt”. Who in their right might would utter such nonsense after the Life President Ngwazi blah blah blah and then 3rd term bill by another idiot who wanted to change the Constitution in order to remain in power? Look at what is happening in Burundi. Apology my foot!! We are not fools. You think you can fool us…. We know you have discussed this and you wanted to test the waters. We are done with the “life presidency” and please give us something freshening, not that nonsense.

  8. Winston Msowoya says:

    Grace Chiumia is a type of Ministers Malawi Presidents prefer in order to enslave their way of thinking.Her comments on the President was not meant to be a mistake at all,she knew precisely what she meant.Banda was not happy to be surrounded in his first independence Cabinet by brilliant and down to earth patriotic Cabinet Ministers who were thoughtful and independently minded individuals,but not these vimbofwas we have these days.They look at their Presidents as GOD FATHERS and voters as stepping stones to higher positions.For instance,when Muthalika told Malawians to eat mbewa (mice) and grasshoppers,the remark that stunned the international community,Kaliati jumped on to describe the obnoxious remark as a JOKE defending her faulty master.As for Grace Chiumia,there is no need to apologize to the victimized voters,this is the politics of the Muthalika brothers.But how would these two brothers bypassing mainstream leaders from nowhere and control 16 million Malawians like pigs or goats? Something is tragically wrong somehow somewhere.History will judge us in the future our country has been thrown to the hyenas.

  9. Apao Kugola says:

    Anthu a kumpoto kukonda kukweza mmwamba ma president bwanji kodi? It was in 1971 in Nkhata Bay when Kamuzu Banda was crowned Life President. Before that he was given the title of Ngwazi by the Ngonis in Mzimba. Bingu also received the acolade of Ngwazi in Mzimba. Today it is Chiumia from the same north calling President Prof Peter Mutharika ‘Life President’. Really? I thought that lady is young enough to use her brains properly on such sensitive issues. She has a future with her. So, why stooping so low like that? Instead of portraying as a beacon of hope for the Malawin girls, all what she can say is the ‘crap’ of calling the president to ‘Life Presidency’ and later utter an apology. Don’t cheat the masses that she has apologized. She was testing waters. Now she has what she wanted through people’s reactions that’s why she has apologized. Nonsense. We have too many chicken heads in the politics of this country indeed. Shaaa. We can’t develop until we totally eliminate this mental disease. Cry Beloved Country.

  10. lawson says:

    my understanding “life” she mean his full term of 10yrs.No issues here!!!!!everyone knows

  11. mwalawatuzi says:

    She has appologised to the President as well as the Malawi nation,what else do you want from her you anthu osavinidwa,osalemekeza makolo?

    1. Central says:

      @ Mwalawatuzi: Ulibe ulemu ndiwe ndi Minister wakoyo!! As a citizen, I for one is aware that what the Minister is saying is mere lip-service and does not sincerely mean what she is telling Malawians?

      Take this: Seriously, mafuka utsi pali moto!! Kodi a DPP mukukambilana chani kuseli kwa khomaku??

      How many people have communicated this message differently? Sorry, some of us are able to see the writings on the wall…………………………………..!! Suffice to add that all we are just waiting for is a proposal from your camp on the review of the constitution on the same…………………..!!

      If you are smart and very good at speaking, we too are smart and good at listening and interpreting the abstract messages…………………………!

  12. Paul says:

    I do not understand the Hon. Minister…she is apologising to the president instead of Malawians. A clear indication that she is more loyal to the president than Malawians. She had insulted Malawians not president..this is a misplaced sorry….Malawians not the president need apology. She should know where to direct her apology.

  13. Chipapapa says:

    DPP gurus have slip of brains that z why the country is stagnant. How can a whole minister make such mistake? You are a mistake too for ministerial position. DPP z ending in 2017 December, period.

  14. was a slip of mano polankhula ndipo sakanena kuti sorry but state president your excellency sir!!! i meant state president, chabe mano mkamwamu ngochuluka…kkk..ccjp yamwetulira nkunyindula chiseyeye chonunkha

  15. gulugunya says:

    Madam Chiumia, why appologizing? He is a life president. You could have more had it been that you have not apologized. Why why why why why madam? We want Malawi to be flooded with such issues.

  16. Jeofrey ngwira says:

    Grace you have shown maturity very rare to find such humble politicians to come out and say sorry, Anduna ndakunyadilani Bravo GILLY

  17. Rural Housing says:

    Iwe Obama Chiumia you are very selfish. Not everybody is driving a pardo as you do. Not everybody has a three course meal everyday as you do. Not everybody sleeps in the comfortable house as you do. Ndiye mukamanenena zinazi, use your head to think and not anything else. Do not be carried away by excitement. Sometimes share time with your husband, he will be your good adviser. I wished you could be called Mrs Grace Chirwa.

  18. Charlie Hebdo says:

    Harvey…Two consecutive terms will assume the incumbent will be elected in the second but both are elected terms

  19. Kakhome says:

    Mapwevupwevu govt in disarray. Mitu sikugwira,Saying nonsene after nonsense

  20. kanchenga says:

    They say to say I am sorry is a sign of weakness but I say it is a demonstration of good upbringing. It is easy to get carried away by situation especially on a podium. But realising the mistake and apologising is not. Thank you madam. We know Peter was happy you made that mistake that’s why he did not correct you. Right now he should furious that you have apologised it makes his bid tough. JUST THE WORD SORRY IS ALL MALAWIANS WANTED FROM YOU.

    1. mudzalila says:

      Ass leaker!!!

  21. Harvey says:

    what is the difference between ‘two consecutive five-years’ and ‘two elected five years’

  22. Atcheya says:

    That is a sign of maturity, Hon. Minister. Whether slip of tongue or not, you have the courage to apologise.

  23. Nkhulandi says:

    May be Chiumia knows that the President will not reach 2019, that’s why she calls him Life President

  24. Iwe grace chiume, you want to say you did not know that there’s no life presidency clause in our constitution? Or may be someone sent you to taste the waters? Dziko lake silinotu mukamfunse chair akuuzani kuti anasiya upresident ukadakoma. Za ziiii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Nachipanti says:

    Some people are too foolish to make jokes like these. Osangoyamba kupanga masewero bwanji… Life Presidency my foot.

    1. Unenesko Nguweni says:

      My sister thank you very much for demonstrating maturity by apologising both to the president and the nation.In fact in joyous moments people are bound to have slip of the tough like what you did.The only difference others do not apologise;they bigheaded.My sister you have humble .I know this from overseas where you became head girl while in form one.What we see in you is a mother.That makes me indeed feel that you said was just a mistake.I have forgiven wholly

    2. zoona says:

      Imeneyi ndi nkhani yoti you should insult the Minister? If she had said we will change the constitution zikanakhala zina. Our laws are clear so let people say what they want its only political talk without any legal backing.

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