President Arthur Peter Mutharika has appointed ousted Lilongwe City South East Member of Parliament (MP) Bentley Namasasu as Deputy Ambassador to Japan in a move that has been seen as rewarding him for backing off to re-contest his lost seat as an independent in the forthcoming by-election after he was defeated by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Reuben Ngwenya in primaries.
The Supreme Court forced Namasasu out of Parliament in March this year after ruling that the May 2014 elections in the constituency were irregularly conducted and that, as such, there was need for a re-run.
Namasasu showed interest to fight for his lost seat during the October 17 by-elections only to lose it in the primaries to the now DPP candidate in the area. He later indicated that he would go it alone as an independent, a development that threatened the DPP’s survival in the area as it meant splitting the votes between the two ‘DPP’ candidates.
The ruling party then advised Namasasu to let it go and that government will find an alternative position for him as a trade in for his seat.
A letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from the Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara indicates that Namasasu’s appointment is effective September 15 2017.
“I write to advise that it has pleased His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi, to appoint Mr Bently Namasasu as Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to Japan. I therefore request you to formalise the appointment by drawing up a contract letter for Mr Namasasu and facilitating his posting,” the letter reads.
However, government has been elusive to comment on the posting.
Muhara, when contacted, pushed it to government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi.
“I don’t speak on behalf of government. Talk to the government spokesperson,” Muhara said.
Dausi also refused to comment saying he is just seeing the letter on social media as such he could not comment on something making rounds on social media.
Namasasu himself also refused to say anything on the development.
While DPP has changed to Ngwenya, the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has retained Ulemu Msungama as the candidate in the area. Msungama, who lost narrowly to Namasasu has since 2014 been pushing the courts to nullify the results in a case which at one time saw the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) warehouses in Lilongwe catching fire destroying some ballot boxes as Msungama was pushing for a recount of the votes.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :