JB backs Chilima on Malawi vice president status change

Malawi’s immediate past president Joyce Banda has thrown her weight behind vice president Saulos Chilima’s suggestion to give more powers to the offce of the vice president to make it more authoritative.

Joyce Banda:  Chilima is absolutely right on empowerment of vice president

In an interview with Ufulu Radio, Banda  said sitting presidents have taken advantage of the ambiguous law in the Constitution to make it a useless office with uncertainty.

“It is possible to give that office a clear mandate. In South Africa, the deputy president is responsible for HIV and AIDS, and the vice president is always busy with that mandate, the president cannot take it away from him,” she said.

Banda said when she was vice president, lpresident Bingu wa Mutharika confronted her for her frequent visits to rural areas, saying this was not her job,

“In the next Cabinet reshuffle, I was not given any ministerial portfolio,” she said.

Chilima said that  his United Transformation Movement  (UTM) will facilitate the amendment of the Constitution to give the office of the vice president more authority and certainty.

“I do not want my deputy to go through what I have gone through and others before me have gone through,” he said.

He said there was need to empower and respect the office of the vice president.

But a legal commentator Justin Dzonzi said the office of the vice president was created as a reserve office purposely in case the office of the president is incapacitated .

He said giving the office of the vice president more powers would be creating another parallel government within the government.

Dzonzi said world over, the office of the vice president falls under the office of the president.

He suggested against changing the Constitution to deal with a specific problem.

Chilima has had an acrimonious relationship with his boss, president Peter Mutharika after the vice president expressed interest to challenge Mutharika for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party presidency.

Since the introduction of the Office of the Vice-President in the 1994 Constitution, presidents have had acrimonious relationshop with their respective vice-presidents.

The first democratic president, Bakili Muluzi fell out with his vice Justin Malewezi towards the end of their term in 2003 when the latter expressed ambitions to take over as presidential candidate.

In 2005, late president Bingu wa Mutharika fell out with his vice Cassim Chilumpha when the latter refused to leave the United Democratic Front, the party that ushered them into government, after Mutharika formed the DPP.

Chilumpha was even charged with treason but the case did not see the liught of the day due of  lack of evidence as it was politically motivated.

Although Banda was a victim of the mistrust that comes between a vice-president and president, she also sidelined vice president Khumbo Kachali in favour of a running mate who would give People’s Party the youth and Central Region votes in Sosten Gwengwe.

Section 79 of the Constitution does not state the functions of the vice-president except the obligation required of them to assist the President.

The Section reads: “There shall be a First Vice-President and, subject to Section 80 (5), a Second Vice-President, both of whom shall assist the President and who shall exercise the powers and perform the functions conferred on the First Vice-President or the Second-Vice-President, as the case may be, by this Constitution or by any Act of Parliament and by the President.”

In Section 80(3), the Constitution provides that the Vice-President shall be elected concurrently with the President and the name of a candidate for the Vice-President shall appear on the same ballot paper as the name of the presidential candidate who nominated him/her.

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sanderson
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sanderson

why did former president Joyce Banda left vice president and pick sosten Gwengwe, and today she is behind Soulos chilima championing to give more power to the office of vice president

Mapwiya
Guest
Mapwiya

Mwaiwala zija munkachita ndi Khumbo Kachali, lero mukufuna muoneke anzeru? Cashgater mxiii

Samson
Guest

chilima& JB don’t have brains, since Bakili this office seems a waste. The VP wants to be independent? Where on Earth does this happen? This mentality is what make them rebel against their boss, God forbid! Right now Chilima is stealing our taxes through salary he does not work for, and he says I can not work with athieving gvt. If he were a noble gentleman could have resigned & persue his ambition of presidency with clear conscience. I wonder even political commentators seem happy with his moves without telling g him to stop getting paid for nothing. This is… Read more »

Shaft Sachapandimadzi
Guest
Shaft Sachapandimadzi

U r right. He is stealing from us through his salary & benefits. Since he chose not to work with the thieving government I wonder which government is he working for now to continue receiving these benefits for free?

Mulomwe
Guest
Mulomwe

DPP thugs skating JB about castigate. DPP have stolen large amounts as compared to JB with impunity. Change is long overdue. DPP blatant thieves who have no care for the masses but their own pockets. DPP can see people are tired and want change. Try to rig votes this country will be up in flames. The people will have a big say.

Ndikunyenyaninyenani Pumbwa Party
Guest

We need elections after the death of the president. The death of Bingu gave us Bonya Joyce Banda. The likely death of Alamu Pumani Mwakalamba could give us Atupele if he is made VP.

bullshit
Guest
bullshit

Mai Joyce Banda, inu munapanga chani panthawi yomwe munali pulezidenti wa dziko pa nkhani imeneyi? Ngati mukufuna alliance ndi UTM pezani nkhani zina osati izi mukukambazi. Get rid of the vice president position is the solution. Incase the President dies, the Speaker of Parliament is to take over for a certain period to allow for Presidential election to take place.

Kalenga ndi Mzake
Guest
Kalenga ndi Mzake

I think you are wrong about South Africa. The HIV thing is same as when SKC was in charge of disasters, events etc. Its all about working relationships. VP is there to takeover from President and any other assigned duties.

M'Malawi Weniweni
Guest
M'Malawi Weniweni

A constitution cannot create two centers of power in the presidency.

In case of South Africa, JB does not say that President can fire VP

Nyaphiri
Guest
Nyaphiri

I agree the constitution needs revisiting. Actually the Vice Presidents should only be nominated after the presidential elections are done. In this case the Vice President can be recalled anytime they misbehave.. this is practiced within SADC . Honestly our focus during voting is on the President and not his deputy. Secondly these Vice President’s should only be given gratuities for the period they have served and let them go.. Malawi is not rich to cater for these numerous VEEPS. IN CASE OF EVENTUALITIES WHERE THE VEEP ASCENDS TO THE PRESIDENCY POSITION IS HE ALSO MANDATED TO HAND PICK A… Read more »

Hard Truth
Guest
Hard Truth

You have raised good points buddy.

Machine Opangila Makina
Guest

Mmanjamo Nyaphiri. I support this and I think it needs to be debated on air

Mulomwe
Guest
Mulomwe

Dzodzi, I personally do not support your views. Giving clear mandate to the office of the VP does not only take the load off the president. I makes the office meaningful and useful as opposed to what it is now. Do you want nothing to be done to what the office is now? A VP should not be a yes man to the president. Currently the office of the VP is a ceremonial role, which I believe, in Dzodzi ‘s views should remain as is. Change is long overdue to the constitution. A VP is an elected person. As such,… Read more »

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