Chakwera shames Mutharika on ‘vindictive’ Cabinet: Exclusion of Malawi VP Chilima on protocol list ‘illegal’

Leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera has added his voice to the chorus of accusations from  legal scholars and governance experts  on  President Peter Mutharika’s exclusion of  estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima in the State protocol list in revised Cabinet announced on Wednesday night.

Chakwera:  For the sake of Malawi constitution, I say shame on President Mutharika

Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president,  said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that President Mutharika new Cabinet is “ a shameful disgrace and an unprecedented insult to all Malawians.”

He did not mince words to describe the Cabinet as “vindictive.”

Said Chakwera: “ You have shown this by the exclusion of the Vice President from the Cabinet, simply because he has exercised his constitutional right to disassociate himself from your party.

“You are hindering him from doing his job, when you know fully well that he is still a member of your Government, and when you know fully well that he is drawing a salary and benefits for the work you are  refusing to delegate to him just out of spite and pettiness.  So for the sake of our constitution, I say shame on you!”

Chakwera’s comments comes after Malawi Law Society has stated that the Vice-President’s exclusion is illegal as Section 92 (1) of the Constitution makes it mandatory that the VP should be part of the Cabinet.

Two prominent legal scholars Edge Kanyongolo and Danwood Chirwa  have also backed the spirit of Constituionalism, saying legally Chilima remains the country’s second-in-command.

But Presidential press secretary  Mgeme Kalilani  said the sidelining of Chilima is a reflection of  the VP’s assertions that he does not work for the current administration.

Chirwa, professor of law based at South Africa’s University of Cape Town, argued that the fact that the VP is vying for the presidency in next year’s election on UTM ticket other than the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), does not disqualify him from the Constitutional office.

He said the President and his government  are the one who have undermined the office of the VP.

“This forms part of a part of abuse of VPs by the DPP whereby individuals are used for election purposes and then sidelines after coming to power,” he said citing Dr Cassim Chilumpha and former president Joyce Banda as the two who were similary  “used and abused.”

Governance expert Makhumbo Munthali has since commended the leader of opposition for demonstrating a high level of political maturity for standing in the defence of constitutionalism especially on the omission of the name of the Vice President in the Cabinet.

“While political parties or leaders may view each other as opponents, they all have a collective responsibility to ensure that the rule of law is safeguarded. I cannot agree more with Chakwera that the current government is vindictive,” said Munthali in an interview with Nyasa Times.

Chilima fell out with Mutharika after he declared he would challenge him  in next year’s presidential race.

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Bolero
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Bolero

Sidelining the VP from cabinet is a clear violation of Constitution the President undertook to uphold. Is it enough ground for impeachment, probably yes.

pathfinder
Guest
pathfinder

Yet the same Chakwera wants Chilima to resign? This guy is unbelievable.

Joel
Guest
Joel

I feel you my brother ..

Alamu Pumani Mwakula kuba
Guest

If Pitala collapses today the whole dpp collapses. This party is of Lomwes. Only one Muslim in cabinet. One Mchewa. No Uladi. No Binton Kutsaira. No Jeff wa Jeffrey despite the noise. Alamu Pumani Mwakalamba is selfish.

Blame the law
Guest

The Malawi law society and the so called big wigs in Malawi law are a shame and very dangerous to our democracy. These guys like chakwera are in jovial mood after realizing that there is total confusion in govt affairs through VP. These law gurus are not helping us. Mr danwood why not commenting on JB and khumbo? I thought it was the same story as all the Malawi vps before Chilima. Even Muluzi and Malewezi. We feel cheated and taken for granted by you, the so called law protectors. You really know that this law is the source of… Read more »

oMachemba
Guest
oMachemba

oChakwera is advocating nonsense here. Too bad, because when people hear oChakwera akuti chakuti chakuti on local radio, or tv, they attach significance to it because he’s leader of the opposition in this country. Contrast that with the meaninglessness politically of what a “professor” of law in South Africa thinks or says: remember views from the diaspora are not even referenced in political surveys in this country – they are inconsequential. Perhaps oChakwera should leave the criticism to Mia, the apparent leader of MCP; he may be able to articulate a more plausible stance. Now, let’s take a step back:… Read more »

LEGO
Guest

You don’t have a point here

BigMan
Guest
BigMan

I hope am not smelling a coalition.

Napoleon muza
Guest

Chakwera you mistreated Msowoya who was your running mate and opted for Mia even before convention. You sidelined him. Why were you fighting four battle with Kaliwo and Msowoya.? You should be the last person to cast a stone upon Mutharika. If you had not mistreated Msowoya he would still be in MCP, but you treated him like trash. Stop being a saint, hypocrite!

Duli
Guest
Duli

Chakwera is a hardcore hypocrite.

Ntumbuka Mwenecho
Guest
Ntumbuka Mwenecho

Can he really work with what he calls apumbwa ofunika legeni? Why are you hypocrites not talking about the insults he hurls with arrogance and impunity? I know some of you have had disagreements with girl friends and wives, you go to church every day but chose to ignore your vows of “till death shall us part” opting to separate. I can give names among those mentioned in this article as I know them personally, including names of the partners they permanently parted ways with.

DR MANGA
Guest

DO YOU SAY HE IS THE PROFESSOR OF LAW ??? WHICH LAW ??? LAW OF THE JUNGLE ???

DD Newo
Guest
DD Newo

Ladies and gentlemen, help me, if Mr. VP goes to cabinet meeting, what stand will he take? If the APM government is corrupt as he is always saying , then why should he be at cabinet of the same corrupt government? Tell me did Chakwera included Msowoya, Kalio and the Nkholokolo group in his NEC? If not why not? Double standards pastor of mcp church. Sorry, so you wanted kuti a chilima when at cabinet azitengako ma stories na ma kugayirankoni. Ngakhale ku mudzi, a mfumu sangampatse unduna munth amene sakugwirizana ndi nthito za a mfumuwo.

Patrick Mbewe
Guest
Patrick Mbewe

The VP post is inshrined in the constitution, even Maliseche cannot fire him. Kupepera basi kukalamba

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