President Bingu wa Mutharika has claimed that his ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) remains popular and that it is poised to win resoundingly again when elections are held in 2014.
Mutharika told supporters at a rally after he opened a road in his tea-growing home district of Thyolo on Sunday, that many people were still favouring DPP.
In a speech broadcast on state radio, he said the crowds that attended his rally was a clear manifestation that “the majority still love DPP” and would back his brother, Peter, to inherit power.
He urged the private media, singling out Malawi’s flagship daily, The Nation, to report about the massive turn out, saying: “If you write off DPP government, mwanyowa [you have got another think coming].”
Most of the people who attended the rally were ferried in trucks from many districts in the southern region. And others were given monetary handouts to lure them to attend the rally.
He said he will “crash” the opposition during the elections and send them into political obvilision.
His brother Peter, also said he will go flat out campaigning to inherit power, saying “you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Mutharika has been blamed for running the Malawi economy into the ground and for massive human rights abuses to keep his grip on power and dynasties the presidency.
He says though he has been called a dictator, arrogant and other names, he is a democrat because he doesn’t intend to elongate his stay in power at the expiry of his constitutional mandate in 2014.
“I am not interested to stay on in power,” he said.
Mutharika said after election in 2014 he will hit the road to Ndata Farm in Thyolo for retirement.
“If I wanted I would easily say I will go for another term and no one would stop me,” he said.
No ‘sad’ term
And at a meeting with religious leaders at the State House, Mutharika insisted DPP wouldn’t use its strong numerical strength in parliament to go against constitutional term limits.
“I am not like 87-year-old Wade [of Senegal] who is gunning for another seven-year term. Imagine he is much older than me and he wants another team, he will be 92 by the end of such a term. But I am not going to do that, I am going home when my time comes,” said Mutharika.
Despite accused of being pedantic, Mutharika touted himself as a listening leader and “a compassionate person”.
Mutharika on another note exhorted his supporters to “step in and defend their father rather than just sit back and watch him take crap from donors and rights groups”.
The Malawi leader has accused western donors of stocking Malawi unrest.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :