Peter Mutharika in a mini bus ride: Malawi presidential hopeful

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) acting president Peter Mutharika on Saturday abandoned his posh motorcade for a public commuter mini bus ride in the capital Lilongwe when he went to the market.

Mutharika, the DPP presidential hopeful for next year’s elections, did not address hundreds of people who came to see him when he went about buying foodstuff in the market, apparently to appreciate the inflation levels that have been triggered by the devaluation of the Kwacha.

From Lilongwe main market, Mutharika took another minibus to Chinsapo market.

Asked what Mutharika is trying to communicate by taking a public minibus ride in Lilongwe, his personal assistant Ben Phiri said, the DPP president “wants to appreciate the suffering people are going through.”

Peter Mutharika goes by mini bus

Peter Mutharika goes by mini bus

Phiri said: “Mutharika wants to get close to the poor, because only close experience will teach him the great magnitude of the problems that afflict the majority of our people.”

The minibus drivers and conductors mobbed Mutharika, shouting: “President wathu, president wathu (our president, our president).”

However, ruling People’s Party supporters called the bus ride as “cheap politics and cheap populism.”

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