BJ wants Constitution amendment for President to have powers to fire veep

Veteran politician and former cabinet minister Brown James Mpinjanjira   popularly referred to as BJ  has said the country’s constitution should be amended to ensure the Head of State has powers to fire the deputy president.

Mpinganjira: We should amend Constitution so President can fire vice president

In the current form of the Constitution, the President and commander-in-chief of the Malawi defence force and the Malawi police service,  cannot sack the vice-president who is elected with him as runningmate in elections.

But Mpinganjira said such a law should be changed so that the President  can be given prerogatrive  powers to sack his deputy the way it pleases him/her to hire and fire Cabinet ministers.

“Lets allow the president to fire vice president,” Mpinganjira said on Times TV.

Mpinganjira who served on numerous ministerial positions from the United Democratic Front (UDF) regime, People’s Party (PP) where his final position was Minister of Information in the two years that PP ruled, noted that since the democratic dispensation in 1993, the President and his or her Vice have ended up in frosty relationships.

Former president Bakili Muluzi may have retained Justin Malewezi on the United Democratic Front ticket in 1999 after his first term, but the two fell out at the twilight of the second term when Muluzi wanted to elongate his time as State President, thwarting his deputy’s own ambitions.

Muluzi’s successor, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, never gelled with his vice, Cassim Chilumpha and dropped him for Joyce Banda in his 2009 re-election bid, but the romance did not last as Bingu lost confidence in her while she was Vice President.

When Banda became president after Bingu’s death in 2012, she hand-picked Khumbo Kachali as her Vice President only to dump him for Sosten Gwengwe as her running mate in 2014 with whom she lost to Mutharika.

Currently, vice-president Saulos Chilima resigned from the rulig ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) accusing it of “embarssing corruption” and practising nepotism.

The Malawi Constitution, in Section 80(3), stipulates that every presidential candidate, at the time of his/her nomination, must declare who shall be his/her first vice-president in the event he/she is elected. As may be apparent, this entails that a successful presidential candidate and his/her first vice-president are both elected by the citizenry through direct, universal and equal suffrage.

It is, in part, because both the president and the first vice-president are directly elected by the citizenry that the president cannot unilaterally remove a sitting first vice-president from office.

In other countries, South Africa, for example, the vice-president is appointed by the president and this has significant repercussions on the vice-president’s tenure of office.

The  electoral system ensures that, in the ordinary course of events, Malawi  has  a president and first vice-president that are elected together.

But Mpinganjira said this should change.

However, commentators say there should not water down the Constitution to serve narrow interest, saying the President or Vice President can be removed, the principal mechanism being impeachment if there is serious violation of the Constitution.

“ We must keep striving towards the ideal of constitutionalism.  The responsibility for ensuring the entrenchment of constitutionalism lies with all Malawians,” said Dr. Mwiza Nkhata, law lecturer at Chancellor College.

 

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Wiseman
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Wiseman

I have been thinking about the same, we don’t need vice president here, Once I become an MP next year, ena mwa malamulo oyenela kusinthidwa ndi amenewa. Number of ministers to be fixed etc.

kondani
Guest
kondani

Mpinganjira anagwesedwa ndi nakhumwa. He will never be an MP again in Malawi. May be if goes to Mozambique.Bakili sanaminamizilre kuti wolanda akazi aeni ake. Mpinganjira kusauka mpakana kosowa pogwira ali ndimunyengerere nakhumwa amuuze APM kuti iye ndi wa DPP cholinga amunikhe kampando, ndi awa ali National Roads Authority. Munthu wopannda nzeru Mpinganjira. Ntchito kupempha zovala kwa achibale ali kunja.

Nduzayani
Guest
Nduzayani

Mpinganjira nanga akalakwa President anthu azitani?Monga pano bwana akowa aba ndalama tizitani?….

.Ndipo akuyankhula ngati ndani kuchipani?Chimene unapangapo wanzeru pamoyo wako kuposa kulephera chisankho nchiani?Munthuyu ndiomvesa chisoni kwabasi. Taonani zomwe akuyankhula zopanda nzeru ngati izo
…pano ukupusisa DPP kuti atenge chimunthu Banda chifukwa choti umadana ndi bakili miluzi.
Munthu woipa iwe. Siya ena alamule

Keen Observer
Guest
Keen Observer

Useless thinking Mpinganjira & who is Mpinganjira to think such a way that President is always right?

Goms
Guest
Goms

JB is right. That’s the only way we can keep a good relationship between the president and his vice.

Bob
Guest
Bob

Iwe leave JB alone. Uziti BJ.

Kanyimbi
Guest
Kanyimbi

We r crying of reducing the appointment powers of the sitting President ndiye wina is thinking of increasing those powers just bcoz anamupatsa u Chairman wa Roads Authority zoona a Malawi zimenezi? Shameful indeed

Gembe
Guest
Gembe

Mad person trying to give a wrong advice……. BJ palibe atakumvere iwe unatha longtime ago…moti wekha sumadziwa kodi

Ndendeuli
Guest
Ndendeuli

He can’t even win in his own home village

gs4
Guest
gs4

Well said! The change should also allow voters to fire the president any time during the five years if he/she iz on the wrong lane.

Malawi 24/7 watch
Guest
Malawi 24/7 watch

Thats a good one

Mpinganyere
Guest
Mpinganyere

Ndiwo umpinganjira umenewo. Zoganiza zake zankhanza basi. Ndiye mmene anawawongera amayi komanso bakili.

Why change a constitutional clause which ensures that there is respect between the two.

As a matter of fact, that is the only clause in our constitution that at least brings a bit of pride to us Malawians and guarantees that no matter how tribalistic (like Mpinganyere) a president can be, they can not toy around with an innocent sitting vice-president.

Akulu awa ofunika ku maula May 2019.

Maclon
Guest
Maclon

It takes wisdom to realise that your productive age is past gone. These people of BJ’s calibre are spent forces and should disappear from active political stage to pave way for vibrant young minds with fresh ideas to turn around things.
Malawi is the same old story which is embarrassing, abject poverty, abject poverty and abject poverty.

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