Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Rev Dr Lazarus Chakwera on Thursday was no show at hilltop Sanjika Palace in Blantyre where President Peter Mutharika is hosted a luncheon to all presidential candidates who contested in the May 20 2014 elections.
It was widely expected that former Malawi president and People’s Party (PP) founder Joyce Banda was going to be the only absentee as she is currently in United States on a tour of her philanthropy duty.
Her spokesperson, Tusekele Mwanyongo, said the former president was still in the U.S. where she had gone to attend some events on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting
But Chakwera and National Salvation Front party president James Nyondo snubbed Mutharika’s olive branch’ he extended to all contenders in May presidential race.
MCP spokesperson Jessie Kabwila said Chakwera had received the invitation late.
“We think it was an afterthought from the Mutharika to invite Chakwera, that is why it was better for our party president not to attend,” Kabwila said in an interview.
MCP has always claimed that Mutharika did not genuinely win the May elections, saying he stole votes from Chakwera.
The MCP president said he conceded defeat for the sake of peace.
“We believe we did not lose. The systems failed us and all this happened in full view of all Malawians and the world. And we believe that Malawians would still have loved to know what really happened.
“We find ourselves therefore in a position where on Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) own admission the result of Presidential vote is flawed but they are compelled to announce it and on that basis the President of Malawi declared,” he noted.
The presidential luncheon was intended to promote a sense of camaraderie among all those who contested for the presidential seat and at the same time commend the former contenders for participating in the landmark event.
Chakwera, who came second in the election with 27.8% of the vote said history will judge him and MCP “ kindly” on what happened in the election pertaining to the declaration of the Presidential winner.
Mutharika is the brother of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in 2012, and obtained 36.4% of the vote, according to the Malawi Electoral Commission.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :