I won’t run for political office, says Callista Mutharika

Malawi former First Lady, Callista Mutharika has denied speculations that she has strong ambitions to contest for the presidency, saying she is not interest to run for any political office.

Another former First Lady, Shanil Muluzi, who divorced with former president Bakili Muluzi, has expressed interest to contest for a member of parliament.

In an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times, Callista said she has heard assertions that she will run for presidency and a member of parliament in the next year’s tripartite polls.

She once served as a lawmaker and her deceased husband appointed her as Minister of Tourism, where they started seeing each other before marrying her when Mutharika’s first wife, Ethel died in 2007.

Callista: I am DPP but not contesting
Callista: I am DPP but not contesting

Callista however said she is not aspiring to contest in the 2014 tripartite elections.

“All those emerging reports about me contesting next year are not true. And I don’t have any political ambitions, I don’t consider myself as a politician,” said Callista.

But Mutharika’s widow has been actively involved in the works of former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

And when quizzed why she has been attending DPP gatherings including dinner dance and the April Convention at Comesa Hall, the soft-spoken Callista said: “I do that in support of my late husband’s party, nothing more”.

She however, confirmed to be a member of DPP.

Emerging reports indicate that Callista has been planning of contesting as Parliamentarian on DPP’s ticket in her home district Zomba to reclaim the seat she once held before becoming the First Lady.

Recently, Callista has been spotted accompanying her brother-in-law and DPP’s president, Professor Peter Mutharika in various events and in some instances has been campaigning for him.

She even campaigned for young Mutharika during the double launch of Amandikonda DVD and CD by Favored Martha last month.

Mum on Bingu’s billions

Pressed to comment on her late husband’s revealed K61 billion wealth said to have been accumulated by Bingu while in office for eight years believed to have been stolen from public purse, Callista kept her comment close to her chest.

Mutharika declared to have had K154 million worth of assets when he got into power in 2004 only to be K61 billion richer seven years later.

The issue has attracted various comments from different sectors including human rights activists and politicians who have since called on government to investigate the issue.

But Callista told Nyasa Times she would rather opt not to say anything relating to the issue, arguing “at meantime, it’s not appropriate time for comments.”

Surprisingly, Callista is not among the beneficiaries of her deceased husband’s estate, according to the “last will” of late Mutharika seen by Nyasa Times.

Mutharika who died of cardiac arrest on April 5 2012, stated in his will titled ‘My Last Will and Testament’ written after the death of his first wife, Ethel, that no one of his relatives other than those mentioned in the document shall have any claim to the estate nor receive anything.

Late Mutharika distributed his multi-billion kwacha worth estate to his children, brother Peter and grandchildren, among others.

Callista has since asked the High Court to remove Mutharika’s daughters -Tapiwa and Duwa – as administrators of the deceased estate.

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