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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john
Guest

Kalindo fire

Mweto okhweene
Guest
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… Read more »
Ngongoliwa
Guest

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.

Nganga
Guest

Chapondaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Chitsiru chili ndi mwini. Chaponda apa. kikiki

Wina Alira
Guest
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… Read more »
mtunduwatha
Guest

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

Wina Alira
Guest
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… Read more »
Ilana Abramovic
Guest

Let them fight.

Injustice Mtambo
Guest

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

Fisi Nicholas Dausi
Guest

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

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