DPP endorses ‘Mutharika dynasty’

By Wanga Gwede, Nyasa Times

Malawi faces a possible dynasty after ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has endorsed President Bingu wa Mutharika’s kid brother to inherit power in 2014.

DPP National Governing Council meeting at New State House in Lilongwe agreed that Professor Peter Mutharika, the Minister of Education, should be the party’s torch bearer in the 2014 elections.

Presidential and party spokesman Hetherwick Ntaba confirmed the report when he told state radio MBC on Monday that they party top body has settled for a Mutharika dynasty.

Peter Mutharika: DPP presidential candidate

“The National Governing Council has nominated Professor [Peter] Mutharika to contest for the post of presidential candidate during the DPP’s next convention,” Ntaba said.

Ntaba however did not say when the DPP will hold its convention.

Gift Trapence, director of the Centre for the Development of the People, an organisation which has been involved in the nationwide anti-Mutharika protests, said Malawians are not happy to have a power dynasty.

“Malawians are not happy with the issue where the brother should succeed, unless it’s a normal election process at the party level. What is happening is like the candidate is being imposed on the people,”Trapence said.

After Mutharika took office in 2004, it marked Malawi’s first transition between democratically elected presidents and during his first term he was credited with agricultural reforms that helped small-scale farmers.

Bolstered by debt relief of more than $2bn and bumper tobacco harvests, the country produced impressive statistics, with gross domestic product growth averaging 7 per cent over the past five years, according to the World Bank.

But Mutharika is now being accused that his presidency is turning autocratic, a charge he vehemently denies.

“I’m a very open person. Some people have dubbed me dictator. They don’t know what a dictator is,” he is on record saying.

“But there is also discipline, because no nation on this earth can run without discipline,” he said. “But dictatorship is never in my bloodstream. I’m a democrat right through.”

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