EXCLUSIVE – ‘Midnight 6 reverse’: Malawi constitutional coup plot underway over Mutharika’s succession

Divisions have emerged inside the ruling Democratic Progressive Party  (DPP) as senior cabinet ministers position themselves for power following the purported illness of President Peter Mutharika.

Chilima is the vice president who was picked by President Peter Mutharika but behind him is 'power hungry' Chaponda who does not want power to leave Lhomwe belt

Chilima is the vice president who was picked by President Peter Mutharika but behind him is ‘power hungry’ Chaponda who is repositioning himself as the next Malawi President

Nyasa Times can reveal that Minister of Agriculture Dr. George Chaponda is leading a faction plotting to stop Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima through a constitutional amendment.

Sources close to the Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya indicate that  Chaponda, a lawyer by profession, has stepped up his efforts making attempts   to garner support for an amendment to effectively stop Chilima from taking over in case the President resigns, dies or he is incapacitated.

Chaponda is also Leader of the House, as well as ruling DPP vice president who has repositioned himself as heir apparent.
“The whole point is to avoid the repeat of what happened when Bingu wa Mutharika died. That can’t be allowed again,” said a close associate to Chaponda.

Chaponda would need a two thirds majority in parliament to amend the constitution and give powers to the President and the same number to sack or impeach a sitting Vice President.

And with the current numbers, and tension between the ruling party and the opposition, money will exchange hands to buy the vote for them to achieve that.

But Chaponda refused to comment on the matter referring to Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Samuel Tembenu, saying he was “in-charge” of the said matter.

Tembenu could not be reached for comment, but Parliament sources say he has been rebuffed by the Speaker to call for an emergency sitting of parliament  to amend the constitution.

Another growing faction within the party is one led by Ben Phiri, a former Presidential Chief Aide and Mutharika’s most trusted man. Phiri is said to mounting the fight on two fronts; trying to stop Chaponda’s Presidential ambitions and also working against Chilima.

“He has amassed enough money and used it to buy many MPs, opposition members, the church, the media and chiefs. He is slowly gaining ground within the rank and file of the party as well,” said another insider.

But Chaponda has set his game plan well to crash Phiri and all seeking power.

Joyce Banda had served as Vice President under Bingu Wa Mutharika who died after a heart attack in April 2012. She succeeded him under the terms of the constitution and became the first female President in southern Africa effectively halting a plot led by Peter Mutharika to stop her ascendance.

Chaponda, worked with late President Bingu wa Mutharika at COMESA in Zambia and he is said to be very close to President Peter Mutharika who he went with to Yale University in the 70s.

Reports that Mutharika’s health is declining have been all over social media in recent weeks because of his unexplained prolonged stay in the USA where he went to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

His return home on Sunday partly confirmed social media speculation that he was ill and had sought medical help while in the USA.

He used his left hand to shake hands with the welcoming party led by his deputy and showed some signs of frailty, walking from the plane and only chatting briefly with officials before being whisked away in a motorcade.

Mutharika, 76, had been out of the southern African nation for 28 days fueling intense speculation on social media that he is bed ridden, recovering from surgery

Malawi’s flagship newspaper , the Daily Times, blamed government for the speculation and reminded the State that the citizens have a right to question the whereabouts of the President in the absence of any explanation.

Meanwhile, State House has said President Mutharika will address a  news conference on Friday.

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32 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE – ‘Midnight 6 reverse’: Malawi constitutional coup plot underway over Mutharika’s succession”

  1. john says:

    Kalindo fire

  2. I am from Mulanje and not very far away from George Chaponda’s home. He is a bad person and not fit to be a President. If you want to believe me ask his own sister and people from Mulanje Pasani who even got to the point of chasing him. For your information, the place where he was chased away in Mulanje is about 10 kilometres from his home. If he was chased by people from his own home district, Mulanje, what will people in Karonga do to him and Malawi at large? Please do not make that mistake.

    Kohulhelhanithi, muhikipalhe (Do not say, I did not warn you). Choose him at your own peril. We said no to him at home, who are you then to say yes to him.

    For my fellow Lhomwes, we have ruled. Let other tribes also rule so we can see the difference.How do you learn to dance if you are the only dancer? How can you change your dancing step if the only song you are dancing on is one?

  3. Ngongoliwa says:

    I blame all this on Joyce Banda for not taking the midnight six to court. They think they can do this again without any punishment. But la 40 lidzakwana.

  4. Nganga says:

    Chapondaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Chitsiru chili ndi mwini. Chaponda apa. kikiki

  5. Wina Alira says:

    Very Soon the News will read “The President of The Republic of Malawi Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has Resigned on Health Grounds meanwhile the Vice President has taken Over Power as they await the Official hand over Ceremony and Inauguration ” the news has brought shock to all the DPP diehards who are rumored to have benefitted from the infamous CASHGATE plunder of Billions of Public Money People Like Joloji Chaponda and the Lomwe clan are very much afraid of what might befall them If Dr Saulosi Chilima Ascend to The Presidency ” and we might all agree with him looking at the seriousness of the Crimes he has committed and continues to the present day as evidenced by this revelation about the plot to amend the constitution just to make sure Dr Chilima doesn’t become the President ” kkkkkkk this old man needs to grow up still a little bit maybe he will grow older and wiser but for the time being I think its Good we refer our honorable Dreamer Mr. Joloji Chaponda to a Psychiatrist may be they can help to tune his CRAZY HEADS Baba ngakhale nkhope yanu imachita kunena yokha zakuyipa kwa Mtima wanu Kudzikonda kuba ziphuphu katangale uhule ndi ufiti zili mwa inu thooo ‘Mukakhale mtsogoleri wa dziko ? mukufuna mutembelere mtundu wa A MALAWI Chani Usavi eti 2016 mpaka 2019 mpaka Uyoooo A Saulos Chilima Woyeeeeeeeee ” Wamatewe Galu Amulume ndati Okhakhala A Malawi timukane ” Osalala Saulo Timuyese GOD BLESS MALAWI AND THE PRESIDENT HIS EXCELLENCY PROF ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA AND HIS ENTIRE FAMILY For The Love and Support They have rendered to the Malawi Nation in Hall through the huge enormous responsibility entrusted upon them we thank God for the wonderful moments the good times sad moments may God Protect and watch over our beloved President

  6. mtunduwatha says:

    Kulimbanilana u president…umh why now? Bwanji APM sanakusankheni momwe ankapanga campaign kukhala running mate wake? Bwanji nthawi imene ija munali duu?

  7. Wina Alira says:

    Pachiphwisi pako chaponda nkhope ngati manyi oponda ponda monga mwa dzina lako unazolowera kuponda watiponda dollar ife a Malawi wapondeleza kwanthawi yayitali tsopano nthawi yakwana udzagwada pamawondo modzichepetsa WHAT ! Mfiti ngati iwe ulibe manyazi Kaleke ka Mnyamata ka Pa Ntcheu Ka Mngoni kachipysolo psyolo ka Tambala wosaguga Osati mamina odontha ngati inu Chipumi ngati chikumba cha Ng’ona Ukalamure dziko iweyo ? OVER MY DEAD BODY YOOO my GODO please respect yourself maybe we will consider dropping a hundred full Corruption charges that will be leveled against you Once we have People with clean hands at the Helm of Government “So please hear me Loud and Clear you stupid foolish Evil man ” Listen and Listen Carefully “There is no way ” You have No Chance ” Your Time is UP ” THINGS FALL APART this is what we call DESTINY

  8. Injustice Mtambo says:

    Achaponda akuchita kutsatira paliponse pomwe waponda Saulosi. Honestly that’s not a joke. This man up to no good!

  9. Fisi Nicholas Dausi says:

    Kiki aChaponda trolling kamwana ka Saulo pakapetipo…. Iiih koma imeneyo ndi mfitidi osati masewero!

  10. Douglas Ndindi says:

    May the will of God prevail. And prevail it will!

  11. third knowles sister says:

    Mukamakangana zanuzo muziziwa kuti anzanu tikugona mu m’dima daily mxxxxxxxxx

  12. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

    Nkhondo ndi anansi

  13. Bongozozo says:

    I would have to hear what the president wants to address the press on. Is it about his US trip? Could it be about his health? Or he wants to announce his resignation? If he has issues then I would have proposed an address to the nation and not the press. Its embarrassing to see him like the way we saw him at the airport. The president must save his face and just address the nation – if he has guts and the voice to speak.

    1. Nganga says:

      Well said. If he has guts!

  14. Jamali says:

    Very sad for the predecessor.
    What happens when he recovers?

  15. mulanjeboy says:

    Chaponda kunyasa konse kuja plus ufiti wake uja akufuna akhale president wandani? shupiti

  16. Gloria K. Banda says:

    Malawi’s young democracy is yet again to be tested. We are about to witness another broad day light rape of the country’s supreme law, the constitution. All because of greedy behavior by powers that be. God will always find ways and means of liberating the poor no matter how hard you try to suppress us. Chaponda can not make a good president. You will also die should you bulldoze you way to the seat of presidency. Time is ripe for Malawi to have a youthful President. We no longer want people who are way above retirement age to lead Malawi. Let’s be serious, if anything go and introduce a law in Parliament that will be barring 65 years old people to stand as presidential aspirants. At 65 a person is supposed to retire from civil service. Why then should that retired person be entrusted with plot number one which is the highest job on the land? State funerals are expensive as a week or two is declared of national mourning thereby losing out in terms of productivity as a nation. Frankly speaking, let the constitution of the country be followed should APM become incapacitated or be called to leave with our ancestors. Sometimes let us be parted on our backs for allowing the law to take its course. We should avoid attracting the international recognition on petty issues like that of raping the constitution. Malawi is a God fearing nation as such let’s just pray to God for APM’s quick recovery if at all the big man is sick. If anything, Chaponda and company should work on removing the provision for the post of Vice President in the constitution so that future Presidents should not have Veeps. I rest my case.

    1. Abeat Minthu says:

      There must a referendum to change constitution about age to be a president. Only in Africa and Un democratic countries have old leaders. Old leaders dont rule but they are There as symbols. The people Who rule are people like chaponda. Onjelapo. Chaponda is doing that to protect being court for corruption. Malawi go on the Street If Chaponda take over. I hope there are people in law who can be not be bought. This is for the sake of our nation and democracy.

      1. be humane says:

        1. Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe, 2.Queen Elizabeth II, United Kingdom, 3. Beji Caid Essebsi, Tunisia, 4. Abdul Halim of Kedah,Malaysia, 5. Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand, 6. Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, Kuwait, 7. Raúl Castro, Cuba, 8. Paul Biya, Cameroon, Akihito, Japan, 10. Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia

    2. NJIRA YA MTANDA says:

      you are just fearing shadows my sister, which Chaponda will takeover, on what grounds, he is just a minister even if his agenda succeeds he will still face the ballot that if the DPP will elect him as their leader, osamangoopa zilizonse!

    3. Free up black people says:

      Bodzatu ili, you say its only in Africa do we have old leaders who are above 65? I doubt this statement. How old is Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. For your information Hillary is 69 years old, this means she will ascend to the presidency at 70. And America is the one of the oldest and stable democracies in the world.Do your research properly

  17. Emmanuel Potani says:

    Everything has time on earth, and let me remind those who are power hungry that it is only and only GOD who put people in power and not otherwise.Nonetheless,let those who are looking forward to lead Malawians try their luck, either formal or informal ways to be in power but the paramount is ‘GOD has HIS own ways of doing things.

    Let me Quote the bible from the book of proverbs in chewa where is it clearly says” KULIBE NZERU KAPENA UPHUNGU WOTSUTSANA NDI YEHOVA” kotero kuti mudzimvele inu nonse muli ndi mtima ofuna kutsogolera a Malawi kuti Mulungu anakonzelatu zones m’mene IYE mwini akufunira kuti zikhale ndipo simungasinthe olo mutatani.

    Langizo kwa inu atsogoleri athu ndi akuti ‘Chonde pomapanga ma plan anuwo musawapeputse mau a MULUNGU chifukwa ndi ooona ndi a mphavu!!!


    1. NJIRA YA MTANDA says:

      mawu omangozilimbitsira mtima, mulungu mukunenayo nthawi zonse amangoti chete! kumangoyang’ana zimbayambaya zikulamulira ndi kutibera, i really doubt if this nigga cares about human beings, i suppose he is too big to think of humans!

  18. Gloria K. Banda says:

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre, The falcon cannot bear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. W.B Yeats: “The Second Coming”.

  19. Mchewa wangwene says:

    If Chilima becomes our next preaident, I would like to ask for a position on his table. I would advise the preaident to face situations with reality and sane… We are tired of these lying politicians. We need someone who can face Malawians and admit his wrong doing while he is still a sitting president .. Someone we can trust… Sometimes, even ask for the majority opinion.. open a communication channel direct to the OPC.. a channel the president will be using to recieve and read letter (opinion and views) from typical Malawians.. a president who can admit things are not oky..

  20. Peterkins Kazembe says:

    Chilima ndi CHIMDALA chaponda angakhale president wabwino ndi ndani? To hell you all madalas! Let the young blood take charge of this our beloved Nation Malawi. GOD BLESS MALAWI!! Why did not Peter himself select you as a running mate? Am very furious and i don’t know if this story is true or not.

  21. Mphono Mamina says:

    Chekanani kumeneko.

  22. Zomba Boy says:

    APA ndiye a DPP abalarika bora osaphana, ma mafia okha okha akumana, tikudikira mmawa 2pm press conference kuti tiwona ndi kumva zotani.

  23. Awuzen kuti afana apa Salima says:

    iwe chaponda wamanyi iwe

  24. Fisi Nicholas Dausi says:

    We are following. Glad to note that you folks at Nyasa Times appear to have rediscovered your confidence again, reverting to your original state of investigative journalism all over again.

    Well done guys. Keep us posted on the developments.

    1. mudzalila says:

      u president uphwekadi! O Chaponda for president? Over my dead body! I will disown that country! Chilima for president!

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