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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Fisi Dausi

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.


Kusowa life president ndie mpaka munthalika

True Patriot
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…
charo cha yehova

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


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?????????????????


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!!!

“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”… Read more »
Winston Msowoya
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… Read more »
Apao Kugola
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… Read more »

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

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