Goodall backtracks on coup claims

Malawi’s Energy Minister Goodall Gondwe, in a bid to salvage his image, has been forced  to disassociate himself from claims that civil society groups are planning to overthrow the government of Bingu wa Mutharika.

Gondwe made the remarks at the March 3 Martyrs Day event in the northern port district of Nkhata Bay.

His speech is on record and was quoted by both the private radios and daily newspapers including online publication Nyasa Times.

He was quoted by Malawi’s flagship daily, The Nation, saying that civil Society wants “to throw the country into pandemonium on the 14th of this month to remove Bingu and put someone in presidency.”

Goodall: Disowns his remarks on coup

The paper further quoted him saying: “They also want to disrupt the 2014 elections because they know they will not win.”

But the minister has backtracked saying he does not want to be party to claims that civil society are plotting a coup.

He denied making such claims, insisting “I never said that and I cannot make such claims.”

But his remarks are on record and the denial could be viewed as “rank stupidity” on the part of the minister.

The coup claims were also amplified  by President Mutharika , who claimed he has intelligence reports that some Western donor nations were conniving with local civil society organisations to topple his government through street demonstrations and vigils this month.

But a top diplomat, who opted not to be named, told Nyasa Times that the claims of a coup plot are a “fairy tale” and “downright delusional” on the part of Mutharika.

The diplomat denied that Western donors are bankrolling a coup, saying the claim is “laughable”.

Mutharika administration has attempted a number of fake coups through his intelligence and other undetectable intelligence collaborators during his eight year tenure.

Critics fear the fresh coup claims are part of a plot to create a pretext for declaring a state of emergency that would give the dictator broad security powers.

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