Malawi government is ignoring comments by human rights activist Billy Mayaya describing President Peter Mutharika as a “headless chicken” ruling Malawi but hit back at critics who claim government dipped into the public purse to commemorate Mutharika’s so called Liberation Day, saying every individual spent their own money.
Mutharika celebrated second anniversary in memory of his arrest in 2012 when he, and six other Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) senior officials, tried to circumvent constitutional order following Pres Bingu wa Mutharika’s sudden death of cardiac arrest in April, 2012.
Apparently, the DPP had tried to block then vice president Joyce Banda from ascending to the presidency considering her sour relationship with the party and her boss – late Mutharika.
Mayaya joined a chorus of commentators who rebuked Mutharika for the celebrations, calling him a headless chicken,
Bur government spokesperson Kondwani Nankhumwa did not contests the “headless chicken” remarks but dismissed accusation of abusing state resources.
Nankhumwa, now Minister of Information Tourism and Culture, was part of the six members – dubbed the ‘Midnight Six.’
He affirmed, amid fervent criticism from the public, that no state resources were used during the commemoration.
“Government wishes to assure the public that, contrary to some commentators, state resources were not used during the commemoration during the commemoration events of the arrest of President Mutharika and others that took place on 11th March, 2015 in Lilongwe,” said Nankhumwa.
He added: “Every individual used their personal resources.”
According to Nankhumwa, even state broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and government news portal Malawi News Agency (MANA) made their own editorial decisions to cover the function the way the private media did.
“No one cajoled them to provide coverage,” said Nankhumwa.
The spokesperson insisted that observance of the day was a powerful symbol to remind and assure the public that “never again” would government abuse its powers to settle scores with political opponents.
“Contrary to criticism, Peter Mutharika’s government remains committed to respect for the rule of law, and making sure that government institutions do their work without political interference,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nankhumwa has since reassured the public that government resources will be safeguarded and used solely for purposes of improving the lives of the people of Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :