JB not a threat neither my enemy- Mutharika

Malawi’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President, Peter Mutharika, has claimed President Joyce Banda was neither his threat nor enemy despite criticizing some policies her administration is currently implementing.

The DPP leader had been holding whistle-stop tours across the country ahead of next year’s tripartite elections tearing apart some of the economic and development policies government is implementing.

Mutharika, speaking during his whistle-stop tours in Zomba and Machinga over the weekend, argued he could not criticize fellow opposition presidential candidates because they do not make government policies.

Some of the frontline presidential candidates in next year’s elections include United Democrat Front’s (UDF), Atupele Muluzi and the newly elected Dr. Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

Peter Mutharika: JB not my threat
Peter Mutharika: JB not my threat

“She is not my threat; she is not my enemy either. I have no enemies but we are just competing, and obviously we have to challenge government where we find it is not doing its job right,” Mutharika argued.

He added: “I don’t mention President Banda, I mention government policies. There is one government; Atupele does not make policy in this country, Chakwera, as well as others do not. I am criticising the policies of the government by not taking appropriate action in some areas. Atupele and Chakwera have nothing to do with that.”

Among other issues, Mutharika had been too critical on government’s failure to put in place proper measures to address the looming hunger, implementation of economic policies that are enslaving the poor masses, failure to open the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Thyolo.

Mutharika, who was in March this year, arrested by the Banda’s administration on perjury and treason charges, said politics was not war and urged other politicians to focus on policy-based campaign, and not scheming castigations that would not steer the country forward.

“We are all Malawians with different views but we are not enemies; we are just opponents. It is not war, it’s a competition. We are debating on different sides of same coin and there is no need for a fight,” explained  74-year-old Mutharika, geared to face Banda, Chakwera and Muluzi as main challengers in the 2014 presidential race.

He said the era of old-styled politics, which hinged on castigations and witch-hunting, was long gone and people will have to choose who to vote for based on ideologies.

“We need to live together as one people, one family. The old politics of kuthana, kunyozana [character assassination] is what is pulling us behind. I never attack anybody; am attacked sometimes, but I never respond because it is not necessary. We need to discuss issues, so I ask DPP as a party let’s leave all things behind, unite as a family. We have a big job ahead of us,” said Mutharika.

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