Malawi President Peter Mutharika faces an overthrow threat with some opposition leaders said to be strategising on insurrection strategy, heightening political tensions as the country faces economic turmoil and hunger.
Leader of opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarous Chakwera is said to have been in discussions how to overthrow the one and half-year Mutharika administration with full endorsements from the United States Ambassador to Malawi, Viginia Palmer, Nyasa Times can disclose.
Nyasa Times understands that the security services had put on surveillance several participants in the alleged plot and seized documents outlining a plan to topple Mutharika.
But government spokesman and Minister of Information Jappie Mhango declined to comment on the matter, referring Nyasa Times to Police.
Police refused to discuss “an alarming” matter.
Opposition spokespersons fear government was gathering alleged threats to national security to support a state of emergency declaration.
But Nyasa Times got information believed to be intelligence notes that state spies have been tracking the plot.
It says in December 2015, at least three meetings were held at the American Ambassador’s low density residence of Area 10 in Lilongwe where the plot was concretized to remove the democratically elected government of Malawi.
Among other resolutions made in December at the American Ambassador’s residence were to have Chakwera travel to the United States on a fully sponsored trip.
Nyasa Times reported last week that Chakwera is on political tour to the US and American Ambassador Viginia Palmer is also reported to have joined him and have been touring various states and soliciting more funding from Americans for various activities that would eventually lead to the government ouster.
Whilst in the US, Palmer and Chakwera also reportedly held a meeting with former president Joyce Banda who has been in self-exile for a year and half now.
The plotters have set June 2016 as the deadline to have President Mutharika toppled and install Chakwera in his place as a temporary government.
Mutharika faces growing criticism for a spiralling economic crisis and the main activities for the planned overthrow will openly start on the 18th of February when the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) meets in Blantyre.
PAC delegates are expected to discuss three main issues of homosexuality, the country’s economic situation and the unavailability of maize stocks in the country.
These are triggers aimed at justifying the already drafted demands to Mutharika, as the main output of the meeting will be an issuance of an ultimatum to President Mutharika to address their concerns or resign peacefully if not be removed violently . The team plans to give Mutharika a strict dateline.
Source of plot
The plan to first have a PAC meeting as a springboard to the insurrection was hatched by the influential religious clerk, Reverend Dr Felix Chingota of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) who shared his thoughts with media analyst Bayana Chunga and later reportedly discussed the issue with the American Ambassador.
After being convinced by Chunga, the American Ambassador called for the first meeting at the end of November 2015 at her residence where the ball was set rolling.
Those that have been attending the gatherings at the American Ambassador’s residence include; Rev Chingota, Bayana Chunga, Lazarous Chakwera, Robert Phiri, Dr David Nungu, Prof. Freddie Msiska, Dr Binnah Shaba and Ms Violet Nyirenda among others.
Nungu who owns a consultancy firm in Lilongwe has since been tasked to come up with themes that would end up in inciting public outrage during the PAC meeting in Blantyre.
According to our source, the American government through its Malawi envoy is making three key demands to the proponents of the overthrow, for them to fully support the plot, and these include that Malawi decriminalises homosexuality once the government is changed.
That the incoming government undertakes to protect from prosecution and freely allow back into the country former president Banda and lock out southern region from producing the next president.
As part of the preparations to the overthrow of the government, the initial PAC internal meeting in Blantyre, tasked its Executive Director, Robert Phiri, to travel to the northern region
where he met a group of people that are spearheading the interest for regime change.
The meeting held in Mzuzu on Thursday was attended by among others, Dan Msowoya, Harris Kanyeremuka, Prof Freddie Msiska, Dr Binnah Shaba, Ms. Violet Nyirenda and Ipiana Nthakomwa.
Meanwhile the outgoing British High Commissioner to Malawi Michael Nevin expressed disappointment to members of the civil society in the country, saying they have not been active enough to put pressure on Mutharika government.
Addressing some members of the CSOs in Lilongwe last week, Nevin emphasized his readiness to support activities of CSO leaders that are brave enough to challenge Mutharika, our source confirmed.
Nevin is said to have expressed disappointment over the CSOs going into slumber when in his own opinion it was easy to force out Mutharika from power.
The meeting that Nevin addressed in Lilongwe was attended by human rights campaigners who include John Kapito, Benedicto Kondowe, Macdonald Sembereka, Billy Mayaya, Gift Trapence and Timothy Mtambo.
Since 1964 when Malawi attained independence, the country has never experienced war and chances are high that following this unveiled plot to violently overthrow the government, it may lead into a possibility of a civil war.
In addition to Malawi’s economic collapse, the country faces a growing hunger problem and cholera has spread rapidly.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :