Henry Mussa ‘sorry’ for coup plot

Local government minister Henry Mussa has conceded that plotting a constitutional coup after the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika was the most “stupid” thing by the Cabinet Minister and

and begged for forgiveness from Malawians.

Mussa is one of a group of cabinet ministers nicknamed the ”Mid night six” who held a late night news conference that attempted to undermine then VP Joyce Banda and constitutional order.

Late on April 6 2012, a day after Mutharika had suffered a cardiac arrest at the New State House and airlifted to South Africa, Malawi’s former minister of Information and Civic Education Patricia Kaliati accompanied by fellow Cabinet ministers at the time Symon Vuwa Kaunda (Sports), Dr Jean Kalilani (Health) and Henry Mussa (Local Government and Rural Development) and deputy ministers Nicholas Dausi (in the Office of the President and Cabinet), and Kondwani Nakhumwa (Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), said Banda could not assume the presidency because she formed her own political party, the People’s Party (PP).

Minister of Local Government Henry Mussa: Am sorry

But by operation of Section 83 (4) of the Constitution, Banda automatically became President following Mutharika’s incapacitation and subsequent death.

But Mussa who is chair of a funeral committee for late Mutharika is pleading with Malawians for forgiveness, arguing  that their decision to subvert the constitution was made out of  “pressure” and “stupidity”

” Our brains were not functioning, no one was thinking straight, the constitution is very clear yet we were trying  to bend it, that was so stupid of us,” he told Zodiak radio on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Nkhata Bay businessperson Watson Katawa is taking Mussa  and five others to court for sedition following remarks at their mid night coup news conference.

Katawa, who runs Katawa Bus Services, said he has been advised to place charges of sedition and conduct likely to cause breach of peace against the six because the aim of the news conference was to create chaos and confusion in the country.

The Malawi Law Society (MLS) condemned the ministers for suggesting, during the news conference, that Banda’s formation of PP precluded her from being eligible to ascend to the presidency.

The news conference came after Banda had addressed the media, advocating the respect of Section 83 (4) of the Constitution. Her sentiments were echoed by former president Bakili Muluzi at a separate news briefing.

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