President Peter Mutharika’s former aide, Ben Phiri has cautiously welcomed calls to go back to State House, saying he is not the appointing authority.
“State House is somebody’s plot. I cannot just go there but if you want me to go back to the DPP (ruling Democratic Progressive Party) then I am more than ready,” he said.
He said he has not been at DPP offices for a while.
Phiri was seen as Mutharika’s strong man and confidante but he resigned as the presidential aide, saying there are some people at Kamuzu Palace whom he did not go along with.
DPP cadets have now launched a crusade to have him back at State House along with the president’s nephew, Chimwemwe Kujaliwa. Phiri said he would think deeply any offer to have him back at State House, saying he is a field man not an office boy.
Phiri saidwhile he respects calls from within the DPP that he should go back and work at State House, he prefers to do ground operations to strengthen the party at grassroots level.
In an interview with Nyasa Times on Sunday at Kamuzu International Airport upon return from a private trip in Europe, Phiri emphasized that the President has the prerogative to appoint whom he wants to work with.
“I have not been on social media for some time and I heard of these calls when I was in South Africa from a colleague. To be honest, I am humbled because it shows that some people appreciated the efforts I did whilst working with the President,” he said.
Phiri also said he has taken the comments with a pinch of salt because he does not know the motive of the people calling for his return.
He also added that time and responsibilities have changed since he last worked at State House.
“While I appreciate positive comments, I have not had time to sit down and analyze the reasons behind such calls. While I know some people may have their good intentions, I also feel some are just saying to spite others,” he noted.
Phiri now heads his Beata Holdings as the company’s executive chairman.
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