Mutharika coaxes Msaka to join front-line politics

Acting president of former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Peter Mutharika is reportedly luring interdicted State Chief Secretary Bright Msaka to join his party and front-line politics ahead of next year’s elections.

Msaka, a lawyer by tranining and former diplomat, lost his position as top civil servant following his arrest and treason charges in connection with a plot to circumvent constitutional order on power transfer soon after the death of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika in April last year.

He has been asked by Mutharika to join DPP and run for one of the top leadership positions at the scheduled April 17 elections.

Msaka, has however asked for “time” to consider the request, according to DPP sources.

 Msaka: Faces treason charges but being coaxed to join politics
Msaka: Faces treason charges but being coaxed to join politics

It is understood that Msaka is being earmarked as DPP vice president.

DPP’s publicist Nicholas Dausi, who also is answering treason charges, said “On Friday, we’ll release names of those who’ve been nominated [to run for positions].”

Msaka was arrested last week together with Mutharika, nine ex-ministers and top government officials including Goodall Gondwe, who has since resigned as Minister of Economic Planning and Development .

The 11 spent three nights in police custody until Thursday when they were granted bail after being formally charged in court with treason and other additional charges.

The arrest of Msaka,  Peter and nine others follows revelations contained in the report of the Commission of Inquiry into Mutharika’s death, exposing attempts to stop the then Vice- President, Joyce Banda, from ascending to power.

Apart from treason, Msaka was also jointly charged with all other suspects on count six of “disobedience to statutory duty…for disobeying the Constitution by denying that the then Vice-President had automatically taken over the presidency despite knowing that Mutharika had died.”

Msaka is also jointly charged with Peter, Gondwe and former Minister of Health Jean Kalirani of conspiring to commit a felony by “conspiring within yourselves and some other unknown persons to commit treason.”

Other suspects in the case are former ministers Patricia Kaliati (Information and Civic Education), Symon Vuwa Kaunda (Sports and Youth Development), Henry Mussa (Local Government and Rural Development), as well as former deputy ministers Kondwani Nankhumwa (Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) and Nicholas Dausi (Office of the President and Cabinet).

The list also includes Msaka’s former deputy Necton Mhura and the late president’s legal adviser Allan Ntata. Former presidential guard commander Duncan Mwapasa, who was also arrested on Monday and currently on police bail, is yet to be formally charged after his name was not included on the charge sheet.

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