After visiting his predecessor Peter Mutharika at the immediate past president’s residence in Mangochi, President Lazarus Chakwera is set to visit the country’s first multiparty president from 1994 to 2004, Bakili Muluzi at his home.
Chakwera met his predecessor Mutharika on Sunday.
“Foes, never. Rivals, sometimes. Compatriots, always,” posted Chakwera on his Facebook page.
On his Twitter page, Mutharika stated: “Today, His Excellency Dr Lazarus Chakwera made a courtesy call on me at my Villa Mutharika in Mangochi. We had a very good chat. God bless Malawi!”
Meanwhile, Nyasa Times understands that Chakwera is set to meet Muluzi, the only one who governed Malawi for a decade – full circle of two terms – in a multiparty democracy.
Muluzi is widely credited with consolidating Malawi’s democracy and the rule of law.
During his tenure he tolerated dissenting views, while press and religious freedoms flourished unlike under Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. He was ‘people’s president’ but had a dark side too as the party he led, United Democratic Front (UDF) used Young Democrats to wage a campaign of intimidation against the government’s opponents and the press especially in 2003-04 as it pushed for Muluzi’s third term bid.
Muluzi is also known as an exceptional negotiator and has walked the adage that in politics, there is neither permanent friend nor permanent enemy; there is only permanent interest.
The former Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi Asbjorn Eidhammer describes Muluzi as affable and easy to like in his book titled Malawi: ‘A Place Apart.’ It is for such reason that he found it easy to bring even his political enemies to the negotiating table.