Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) heavey weights who were christened “midnight six” after being charged with treason have had their case discontinued by the State.
The six former cabinet members, Patricia Kaliati, Henry Mussa, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Nicholas Dausi, Jean Kalilani and Vuwa Kaunda convened a mid-night press conference, hours before government announced the death of former president, Bingu wa Mutharika, in April 2012 challenging that no matter what happens, former president Joyce Banda who was the then vice president will not take over as per constitution requirement.
Section 83 (3) of the constitution says whenever there is a vacancy in the office of president, the vice president shall assume that office for the remainder of the term.
In the same case, DPP leader and now State President Peter Mutharika was also charged with treason and the Director of Public Prosecution, Bruno Kalemba, said he has discontinued the case because Mutharika as president is immune to prosecution according to Section 91 (2) of the Constitution.
Kalemba said he has informed the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament informing them of the decision to discontinue the case.
However, the DPP heavyweights insisted the case was politically motivated by the former ruling People’s Party, maintain it was “Satanic machinations aimed at gaining political mileage.”
Mutharika, 78, died suddenly on April 5 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
He was rushed to Kamuzu Central Hospital in the capital after collapsing in his office during a meeting with Lilongwe legislator Agnes Penemulungu.
Cardiologists failed to resuscitate him after three attempts.
Reports say his transfer from office to hospital was chaotic, with nobody alerting the public hospital that a VIP patient was being brought in.
The hospital also reportedly lacked the required drugs to aid the resuscitation efforts.
Despite news spreading that the economist-turned-politician had died that fateful Thursday, the DPP government procrastinated with senior government officials insisting Mutharika was simply sick and was flown in the night to a military hospital in South Africa “for further treatment”.
Meanwhile, nocturnal meetings by the politburo of the DP) were taking place in an attempt to install the late President’s brother, Prof. Peter Mutharika, as acting president despite the Constitution clearly stating that in the event of the President’s incapacitation or death, the Vice President automatically steps in.
Late Mutharika had run-ins with almost all major Western bi-lateral donor nations and multi-lateral donor agencies, with most of them either suspending vital aid to the poor southern African country or completely cancelling it.
His diplomatic spat with the West reached a crescendo when he expelled British envoy Fergus Cochraine-Dyet, whose diplomatic cable to Foreign Secretary William Hague described Mutharika as “increasingly becoming autocratic and intolerant of criticism” leaked to the media.
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