As the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) struggles to maintain its foothold on political power, another power matrix game between President Peter Mutharika’s Personal Assistant (PA), Ben Phiri, and Senior Advisor to the President on Strategy and Communication, Bright Malopa, has also entered an intense phase that nearly culminated into physical fight.
According to a reliable source at Kamuzu Palace, Malopa recently wrote President Mutharika informing the President about Ben Phiri’s alleged increasing arrogance and big-headedness, which he feared reflect badly on Mutharika as a leader and the DPP adminstration.
In the memorandum, Malopa expressed worry that Ben Phiri has grown so much into himself and that he refuses to take advice from anyone, including the Chief of Staff (Peter Mukhito) on crucial State House matters.
In Malopa’s communication to the Head of State, it was revealed that Ben Phiri bosses over all cabinet ministers and elected members of the DPP National Governing Council (NGC).
Malopa also disclosed to the President that his youthful PA allegedly extorts huge sums of money from rich Asians, Nigerians, Rwandese and Burundians“in exchange for appointments with the President and government contracts”.
The source said the President expressed surprise at the information he received about his PA. He chewed him out about his “unbecoming” conduct andthreatened he would fire himshould he continue with such “shameful conduct”.
According to the source, the President did not hide the source of his information, which is Malopa.
“Ben Phiri got extremely angry with the turn of events and at the apparent and clear ‘challenge’ on his authority by Malopa, who he considers as being small in terms of proximity to the President.
“The President’s PA looked out for Malopa and when they met, a bitter argument ensued and it nearly degenerated into physical fist of fury,” said the source, opting for anonymity for fear of the ‘obvious’.
According to the source, Ben Phiri accused Malopa of harbouring ulterior motives to snatch away his position and become closest to the President himself.
“He accused Malopa of leaking classified information from State House to the media, including information about the PA including his wife on a recent presidential tour to the United States of America using taxpayers money,” said the source.
Several State House sources corroborated the matter and confirmed Ben Phiri is “no longer the same Peter Mutharika’s blue-eyed boy”.
When contacted for comment, Malopa said he does not “publicly” discuss communication between him and the Head of State. Ben Phiri could not answer calls after several attempts.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :