Men of God under Clergy Initiative for Integral Development (CIDE) have dumped Vice President Joyce Banda for Peter Mutharika, the President’s younger brother.
The clergy, led by Anglican priest, Fr Michael Mtambo, have changed their strong opposition to Mutharika and are now showering praises.
A government source said the clergy were even given a ministerial Benz to travel to the Eucharistic celebration in Magomero, Chiradzulu during the visit of the head of Anglican Church, Archbishop Rowan Williams.
Fr. Mtambo told reporters in Balaka on Friday that Malawians should not accuse President Bingu wa Mutharika of imposing draconian laws on the media because Section 46 of the Penal Code which gives powers to the minister of Information to ban newspapers that are critical of government, was first amended by the UDF government.
“The process to amend section 46 started with UDF regime. It is not Mutharika who is advancing it,” said Fr. Mtambo adding that the section is good because it demands journalists to write only true things.
His statement suggested that journalists sometimes write false stories.
Mtambo and his vice, Sheikh Ali Abudu and a member of the CIDE Rev Richard Padambo have been critical of Mutharika to the extent of calling him names. The clergy have been supporting vice president Joyce Banda.
“They organized a press conference in Balaka stabbing Bingu because of the VP. Today they have thrown Banda away and are praising Bingu. We find that very strange. I know they are bought to advance Peter’s campaign,” a source close to the group said.
“They have seen that the VP cannot give them money any more. They are doing that to survive and they have been given Chisokono,” the source said.
Mtambo denied being induced to change tune.