Former First Lady Callista Mutharika —widow of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) founding president and the incumbent President’s elder brother Bingu —has taken ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary general Grazider Jeffrey demanding K500 million for saying the former first lady killed her husband Bingu wa Mutharika.
Callista through lawyer Ambokire Salimu has filed the lawsuit files at the High Court in Blantyre.
The former First Lady refused to comment when called to clarify more.
As Callista lawyers were busy filing documents for the suit, Jeffrey was telling people at a presidential rally on Tuesday that she was not moved by the lawsuit threats.
“She can go ahead, we will meet at the court,” she said.
Callista last week made a frantic apology to Malawians for marketing her brother in law for presidency in 2014 but has turned out to be a great disappointment, saying he lacks leadership skills.
In retaliation, Jeffrey alleged Callista was plotting to kill her in-law as she allegedly killed Bingu.
Jeffrey has been sued alongside the public broadcaster MBC for allegedly broadcasting live the words that Jeffrey uttered against the former first lady.
Lawyer Salim said: “We have filed the summons basically claiming K500 million. Those are exemplary aggravated damages reflecting the seriousness of the slander or defamation.
“You know she [Mutharika] is a high profile citizen and this thing was said at a grander stage than a political rally addressed by the DPP and then MBC carried it live so we think it is the ultimate form of defamation.”
Jeffrey’s remarks was the recent conspiracy theory by DPP thrown about to satisfy people’s curiosity regarding Bingu’s sudden death.
during a memorial service in honour of Bingu in 2015, Cabinet Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa alleged that Bingu’s deputy at the time, Joyce Banda, had a hand in, if not the mastermind of, a plot to murder Mutharika.
A commission of inquiry instituted by former president Joyce Banda into Mutharika’s death concluded he died from cardiac arrest. Foul play was never a factor, unless one counts the lack of medical apparatus at the State House as a strand of a murder plot.
Mutharika, 78, though pronounced dead at the hospital, was flown to South Africa. But the plane was also delayed by almost four hours because , according to several sources, the pilot from South Africa refused to fly a corpse.
In 2013, when Banda was State President, she accused the Malawi media of killing Mutharika due to their “unprofessional conduct”. She said something to the effect: “Do you want to kill me like you killed Bingu wa Mutharika?”
However, Callista said she will not let the DPP gurus to be accusing her of bumping Bingu off the face of the earth without seeking legal redress.
Commentators says politicians should not waste time with that vexatious issue: Who really killed Bingu, if at all someone did? They argue that they should just let his soul rest in peace, which he couldn’t find in his last days on earth as he had an indifferent international community to contend with; on the home front, a belligerent civil society was issuing him ultimatums to resign or face the consequences.
Callista sparked the succession debate weeks ago, when she said her in-law, who is 79, should pave the way for the comparatively younger vice-president Saulos Chilima, 45.
The Chilima Movement has attracted DPP senior members that have come in the open to demand Mutharika must step down and pave the way for Chilima in the May 2019 elections include Mulanje West legislator Patricia Kaliati, who is also director of women in the party, DPP Blantyre City East legislator Noel Masangwi, who is also the party’s executive member, national director of youth Louis Ngalande and DPP Mulanje South legislator Bon Kalindo.
Others are Blantyre City South MP Allan Ngumuya, Mwanza legislator Paul Chibingu, DPP director of logistics Dr Ben Chidyaonga and others.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :