Malawian President Peter Mutharika is being accused of “paranoia” over the reports he has been getting from politically compromised National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) that there is regime change plot to out Mutharika from power.
The President who has fired Malawi Defence Force (MDF) commander General Ignacious Maulana and replacing him with his former deputy Griffin Supuni-Phiri is also said to ring changes in many other top government institutions including the police.
Supuni-Phiri, who for a long time served as Malawi’s military attache at the Malawi Mission at the United Nations and as aide de camp to then president Bakili Muluzi, will be deputised by Lieutenant General Clement Namangale (administration) and Lieutenant General Vincent Nundwe (operations).
Government insiders say Duncan Mwapasa is waiting in the wings to be installed Inspector General of Police to replace Lexten Kachama.
Chief Secretary in the Office of President and Cabinet, George Mkondiwa is also set to be given diplomatic post in Japan and will be replaced by Dalitso Kabambe who is Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Principal Secretary.
There have been several reports by NIB claiming there is a regime change agenda being plotted by the opposition to o overthrow President Mutharika.
Three opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) executive Ulemu Msungama, spokesperson Jessie Kabwila and the party’s legal adviser Peter Chakwantha, after answering to treason charge over alleged WhatsApp chat discussing how to unseat Mutharika.
MCP secretary general Gustave Kaliwo, who is also the party’s legal adviser, lamented the arrest, saying Mutharika has been telling the nation that he and five other political colleagues had been slapped with a politically-motivated trumped-up treason charge after his elder brother Bingu wa Mutharika, had died suddenly in the presidency.
He noted that, to date, the President dismisses that charge and wondered how a whole government may now use reported—and highly questionable— WhatsApp chats as evidence of a serious charge of either treason or sedition.
The development comes after concerns that the intelligence body NBI currently headed by Nicholas Dausi, a senior politician in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is politically compromised had resorted to “cheap propaganda”.
Chancellor College-based political scientist, Boniface Dulani told the press that “NIB has been used, and continues to be used by ruling parties to advance partisan, rather than national, interest.
“The main targets end up being opposition politicians, those that hold critical voices or are considered disloyal to the ruling party and elites.”
Early this year, government said it had intelligence information that MCP with assistance from the international community was plotting to unseat president Mutharika. MCP officials denied those allegations.
Outgoing British High Commissioner Michael Nevin confirmed to a local daily that United Kingdom has been raising the concerns with Malawi government over politisation of NIB for some time.
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