Mutharika back with a bang this week, says aide

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika returns home this week from a controversial visit to the United States of America (USA) with only three months to the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.

Mutharika left last month for the US and his trip attracted bad publicity over claims that he was fulfilling US immigrations requirements.

The DPP president is a US green card holder and any holder is not required to stay outside that country for over a year, failing which the card can be revoked.

However, his personal assistant, Ben Phiri, said he went there to carry on his assignments as the party’s president and that he has “raised a lot of funds for the DPP campaign.”

Mutharika:  Coming back

Mutharika: Coming back

Phiri said on Tuesday that Mutharika was scheduled to return by Friday in Malawi.

The DPP spokesman Nicholas Dausi and party secretary-general Dr Jean Kalilani were however in the dark on Mutharika’s itinerary.

Dausi however said Mutharika was in touch with the party members through phone roaming.

Mutharika’s aide said the US trip has been a success.

“The trip was part of the party’s plan for this year. Among others the trip was aimed at fundraising for the party, conducting party meetings and strengthening international relationships for the party,” said Phiri.

He said Mutharika has raised a good amount of money to help DPP in the elections.

“The party requires $20 million for campaign and locally friends of the party cannot manage to contribute since they have been squeezed by the current administration,” he said.

Phiri said in US the DPP leader has managed to raise money for American business tycoons, campaign materials and re-energised himself for the presidential race.

Former legal adviser to former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika, Allan Ntata recently questioned Peter’s absence.

Ntata argued that Peter was not demonstrating a strategy to win the forthcoming elections by going abroad instead of being around to respond to the dynamics of political developments.

“Political leadership is about strategy. Professor Peter Mutharika is out of the country right now. What is he doing outside Malawi at a time when he should be in Malawi responding to the dynamics of political developments?” wondered Ntata.

This is not the first time that Mutharika has stayed in the US for an extended period. During his brother’s rule, he missed a number of engagements, including the hosting of Commonwealth secretary Kamalesh Sharma and the African Union (AU) summit.

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