Mutharika to curb defections: Section 65 to be enforced

Malawi President Peter Mutharika has said he will stop politicians switching parties when there is a news administration.

Mutharika said his administration will not accommodate political prostitution.

“We need politicians who will be able to deferentiate between what is right and what is wrong. We don’t want politicians who move from one party to another. No wonder most of them have lost elections. Malawians are fed up with such behaviour,” said Mutharika after receiving the sword of honour from army commander General Henry Odillo, officially becoming the Commander In-chief of the Malawi Defence Force.

Newly elected Malawian President Arthur Peter Mutharika delivers a speech during his official inauguration as Malawi's new President, at the Kamuzu stadium in Blantyre on June 2, 2014.- (Photo AFP)

Newly elected Malawian President Arthur Peter Mutharika delivers a speech during his official inauguration as Malawi’s new President, at the Kamuzu stadium in Blantyre on June 2, 2014.- (Photo AFP)

Mutharika repeated the call he made on Saturday that rebuilding Malawi needs collective efforts from all political players and Malawians.

He also assured “those who are afraid” that politics of revenge, gossip and jealous are over.

“I can assure you that politics of revenge, kuthana are over. DPP has changed,” said Mutharika.

Malawi politicians recycle themselves to ruling parties when there is change of power, mostly to seek amnesty from prosecution on wrongful self-enrichment.

Analysts say defections generally took place for personal rewards, not for ideological reasons.

Malawi’s law expert Danwood Chirwa, professor of law at the University of Cape Town said defections encourage what he called the “politics of the stomach” while at the same time undermining the accountability of the executive.

Chirwa said Malawians should implement Section 65 of their constitution which prohibits defections by members of parliament. He said the defections are anti-democratic and those wishing to do so must first seek a new electoral mandate.

He said the government must fully implement Section 65 of the constitution, which prohibits defections, whether it favors the government of the day or not.

Mutharika indicated that he will not be entertaining nomadic politicians.

The DPP leader comes to power at a time when the impoverished country is struggling with fallout from a financial scandal dubbed “Cashgate.”

Investigators say millions of dollars in public funds were siphoned off by politicians and businessmen in collusion with civil servants.

“I think our country had lost its moral compass,” Mutharika said. “I think things like ‘Cashgate’ happen when our leaders fail to differentiate between right and wrong.”

He warned that anyone who embezzles state funds will be prosecuted.

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