Mutharika ‘coronation’, Atu bid gets Katsonga bashing

Former Speaker of Parliament and cabinet minister, Davies Chester Katsonga on Tuesday accused President Bingu wa Mutharika of imposing his brother and Foreign Minister Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika as the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) torch-bearer in the 2014 national presidential polls.

Katsonga told journalists and a handful of his followers when he announced the formation of his political party, Chipani cha Pfuko (CCP) in Blantyre that Peter Mutharika was named DPP candidate in 2014 without opening the field for other interested individuals to “throw their hats in the ring for the position”.

“I thought such competitions are run on the basis of ‘may the best candidate win’. How would the DPP and the Malawi nation know Honourable Peter Mutharika was, indeed, the best candidate? This is a party with notable, able and popular individuals like Goodall Gondwe, Chimunthu Banda, Ken Lipenga, George Chaponda; individuals who gave their all to save the Presidency and the DPP government between 2004 and 2009,” noted Katsonga, adding that most of that time, Professor Peter Mutharika was nowhere to be seen.

Peter Mutharika: DPP presidential candidate

“He arrived on the scene when the situation had already been stabilized by the team I have mentioned and now he (Peter Mutharika) is favoured to take up the party. I cannot think of anything most unjust in the DPP,” said Katsonga, who until February 28, 2012 was UDF National Campaign Director.

Bashes Muluzi

On the UDF, the former Mwanza Central legislator said over the years former President Bakili Muluzi trying on more occasions to have a third go at the Presidency and that “it seems he has not given up yet”.

He also said that Atupele Muluzi, son of the former Head of State, should be allowed to “grow” within the United Democratic Front (UDF) “until he has matured enough to handle the demands, administrative knowledge and rigours of the presidency”.

The young Muluzi has posed a serious challenge for the UDF 2014 presidential candidature leaving senior executives, led by interim party president Friday Jumbe gasping for their last political breath.

“This time, Muluzi wants to get back through his son. Have we forgotten the unsuccessful open term bill; the unsuccessful third term bill; the ‘madeya’ jibe against his loyal ministers, which ended up with ushering into the party’s presidential candidacy, Bingu wa Mutharika,” recalled Katsonga.

He added the former Head of State wanted to use his five year absence from the Presidency to make a comeback and then this failed courtesy of the courts, “without remorse and concern for the UDF sentiments”, ordered the party to support John Tembo, “a candidate representing another party, Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

“Final throw of the dice by former President His Excellency Dr. Bakili Muluzi; ‘My Son Atupele for President’”, said Katsonga, claiming that “as we all know”, Atupele does not have any administrative experience and that he had never held any position in government or elsewhere in the private sector.

“Well, he did work for a while in his father’s ill-fated bank -and we all know what happened to the bank,” said Katsonga.

He said there are a lot of individuals in the UDF, citing Jumbe, Dr. George Nga Mtafu, Joseph Kubwalo, Harry Thomson, Patrick Mbewe, whom he said had proven their loyalty to Muluzi and the party over the years.

UDF react

Meanwhile, UDF vice president Humphrey Mvula coolly reacted to Katsonga’s formation of his Chipani Cha Pfuko, saying it was his constitutional right.

Mvula, however, said the party still felt Katsonga’s resignation from the UDF and subsequent formation of the new party as being a great loss because numbers in a democracy matter significantly.

“We’re saddened that he had to leave but at the same time, as a party, we wish him well in his new pursuits and life for the UDF has got to go on,” Mvula told Nyasa Times in an interview on Wednesday.

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