Former legal adviser to former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika Allan Ntata has hinted that increasingly powerful special advisor to President Peter Mutharika, Ben Phiri is now running the show at State House.
Ntata who went on public to complain that one or two individuals he did not name have ‘ring-fenced’ President Mutharika used an interview on a Times TV on Saturday to highlight how Phiri is in charge of the affairs.
The lawyer-cum-political strategist pointed out that Phiri wields considerable influence over Mutharika and that he is a de facto appointing authority.
Ntata lends credence to Nyasa Times story that reported he was earmarked to director general of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), saying it was Phiri who offered him the job but he declined.
“Ben Phiri offered me a job as the Director of the Ant Corruption Bureau but I declined,” Ntata said in an interview with anchor Brian Banda.
“ Am doing fine as a consultant and I don’t need a job in government ,” said Ntata.
He is a consultant at Rak Gas and United Arab Emirates (UAE) firm which is involved in oil exploration activities in Malawian districts under Block Five.
Ntata has since branded President Mutharika as a “puppet”.
“You know you’re dealing with a puppet,” asserted Ntata, “when every time you try to say something (you’re answered) ‘talk to my assistant’.”
Phiri could not immediately comment.
Ntata recently published a “confession” that – despite President Mutharika dismissing the treason charges which were slapped at him others as ‘stupid’– they were up to usurp power after the sudden death of Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012.
He also delved into the controversial proposed sale of the troubled Malawi Savings Bank (MSB), stingingly accusing authorities of sugar-coating “selfish motives” to hoodwink Malawians that the sale was beneficial to the bank. Ntata alleged that “a few individuals” and “a tribe at the pinnacle of power” were conspiring to “rob Malawians of their asset”.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is dismissing Ntata outbursts , saying they are coming from a “frustrated” and an “attention and favours seeker.”
DPP and Ntata critics argue that instead of speaking in public, he should take his “advise” to the President in private as a sympathiser of the ruling party.
But Ntata has shot down that assertion.
“ I learned during my time as counsel to late Bingu that an advisor is blamed and his reputation tarnished if a principle makes wrong decisions regardless of whether the advisor advised against those decisions.
“I am very aware that many still blame me for various decisions that they viewed were wrong during the DPP, claiming that I was behind them. I understand their presumptuous allegations because they have no way on knowing what advice I actually gave to the President. Luckily, I still have copies of memos of my advice to the president, which should some want know what I advised on various matters, I can provide in confidence,” Ntata stated.
He has refused to offer advice in dark corners, saying he will do it openly.
“ I will now advise and voice my views of what’s going wrong in the open. This way, posterity will judge me honestly and fairly rather than the wholesale accusations I received from those uninformed about what my advice and views were on any given issue,” he said.
Ntata said further details on the advice he provided to late president Mutharika “sober minds” should read his book, ‘Trappings of Power: Political Leadership in Africa,’ which available on Amazon and other online bookstores.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :