Former First Lady Callista Mutharika has denied she wielded political powers at State House that influenced former president Bingu wa Mutharika to become increasingly intolerant and arrogant during his second term of office.
Mutharika said this in an exclusive interview with Times TV.
“I never influenced him on anything because I had a feeling that he had performed well (during his first term in office), he was very wise, very intelligent, highly educated, very experienced and exposed;” said the former First Lady.
She said to the contrary, she never wanted to put any pressure on the former head of state.
“I was very idle, I never gave him any advice because I had confidence in him, his decisions were always perfect;” said Mrs Mutharika.
She dismissed reports that the late president was becoming dictatorial.
The former first lady said at Kamuzu Palace, Bingu was ever loving, caring and a family man who, when free enjoyed singing gospel with his wife in their private home.
“He liked typing and usually asked me to compete with her. I know a lovely Bingu. I know Bingu the father, Bingu the uncle, Bingu the grandpa. He was so close to me that he rarely allowed me to go anywhere on my own. He was always happy to be with me,” said the former First Lady who worked as secretary then lecturer before joining politics and then married Bingu.
On her relationship with Bingu’s children, Callista initially refused to comment on their battle over Bingu property.
“There were disagreements, but this is not unique to Mutharika family. When someone dies, this happens…I understand Malawian culture more than the children. Our relationship now is cordial, nice. I think there were some misunderstandings about Ndata (sprawling palace) like when I should go there, for how long I should stay. Ndata is my home, it shall always be my home,” she said.
She said her relationship with President Peter Mutharika as her brother in law is still intact, hinting she calls him whenever she has a problem.
Asked if she has any plans to bounce back into politics, Callista said she is now on full time employment is government as safe motherhood coordinator, the job, she says, she loves.
“It is still busy life,” said Mutharika when asked if she misses flying presidential jet or business class.
“I am still flying business class as an ordinary person because that gives me chance to go shopping at airports like buying books. When a husband dies, life must go on, we need to accept it after all we will all die therefore there is no need to despair,” she said.
Callista also parried away reports that she is very rich now having amassed Bingu’s wealth estimated to be billions.
She also said she never lost her friends during her stay at State House, saying she managed to recover from the shock of Bingu’s death because of the comfort of her friends.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :