Malawi State House has dismissed media reports that President Peter Mutharika he ignored presence of leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera launch of HTD’s Abdul Majid Motor City, saying he did not him due to a barrier.
A statement signed by presidential press secretary Frederick Ndala, said Mutharika did not ignore Chakwera, but failed to give him a handshake because of a barrier.
The statement also rubbishes Malawi’s flagship daily newspaper, The Nation for indicating in their story that Mutharika ignored Chakwera twice.
“If The Nation Newspaper had done thorough investigations, it would have learnt that the president actually had problems in greating former president Dr Bakili Muluzi who was sitting adjacent to the president due to the barrier in the VVIP platform.
“He did not see Right Hon Chakwera because of the barrier. All the people present at the event saw how the barrier made it difficult for the president to interact with Muluzi.”
The statement said the barrier is a physic one and does not exist in the so called barrier in the president’s psyche as insinuated by the newspaper.
Ndala also said it was just an oversight for the President not to recognise the leader of opposition in his salutations.
He said salutations document was handed over to the President as he was about to speak and as such he genuinely missed Chakwera’s name and a few others at the event.
“The State House is dismayed with lack of professionalism and the apparent ill-intent to bring unnecessary political innuendo in an otherwise straight forward matter as displayed in the paper report and its editorial,” Ndala, a former editor of Malawi News said in apparent attack to The Nation.
“We would like to urge The Nation to refrain from reporting on non-issues and positively report on substantial matters aimed at building the nation,” reads part of the statement.
As an example, the statement said in the past public functions Mutharika has dully recognised Chakwera.
Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president and finished second to Mutharika in the controversial May 20 Tripartite Elections, was one of the high-profile guests that sat on the presidential podium alongside former president Bakili Muluzi, Cabinet ministers, Chief Secretary to the Government George Mkondiwa and First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Esther Mcheka Chilenje, among others.
Chakwera, whose party argues was robbed of victory during the May 20 Tripartite Elections that put Mutharika in power, was cheered by his party supporters who attended the launch.
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