At a news conference on Saturday at his retirement home in Mangochi, Mutharika said there’s need to end a culture of prosecuting former presidents.
Mutharika, ousted from power through last year’s fresh presidential election, said for instance, he did not prosecute Joyce Banda when he was voted into power because he wanted the belief of attacks previous leaders to end.
He said now Malawi has to do as what is being done in nations like Zimbabwe and Tanzania where former leaders are accorded peace after their regimes end.
Mutharika was commenting on a case in which he along with former Secretary to Government Lloyd Muhara were ordered to pay a sum of K69 million for forcing Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda to go on retirement.
The former president has claimed government is persecuting him and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members, a development he said is a plot by the Tonse Alliance administration to kill the opposition.
“The MCP (Malawi Congress Party) government is persecuting me through freezing my bank accounts so that I should not fund the DPP. The MCP government wants to take the country back to the one party-state system,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika faulted the decision by some entities that sued him along with former Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara, for their decision to force Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judge Edward Twea to proceed on forced leave pending retirement.
However, Mutharika who is a retired law professor, citing a section from the Republican Constitution, said it is unfair to be held responsible for decisions he made while in office as a President.
“When you are President, you make many decisions. There are times when one can do a decision out of bad judgement,” he said, adding the Constitution clearly states a President would not be held criminally liable for decisions made while serving in that office.
But Minister of Information Gospel Kazako, who is official government spokesperson, said Mutharika was not justified to claim persecution, saying “action to law doesn’t segregate and certainly it won’t segregate the DPP followers or, indeed, the Tonse Alliance followers or any other Malawian.”
In his address, Mutharika said government lacks policy direction, citing that prices of commodities are increasing and people are becoming poorer by the day.
The former president has also commented on government’s decision to rescind the appointments of Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje as commissioners for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
Mutharika said if the commissioners are “fired” on the grounds of incompetence, then the MEC that oversaw the June 2020 fresh presidential election was “irregularly” constituted; hence, there was no winner in the election.
He further accused government of persecuting people politically and economically.
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