President Peter Mutharika has been forced to dismiss from his 20-member cabinet Mulanje West Parliamentarian, Patricia Kaliati after she nearly got into brawls with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary General, Grizeder Jeffrey wa Jeffrey in Mulanje district on Wednesday, Nyasa Times understands.
Mutharika relieved Kaliati of her position as Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development without giving any reason.
But Nyasa Times can reveal that the President was forced to exercise his powers in firing Kaliati from cabinet after she got involved in heated argument with Jeffrey that nearly spilled into a fight soon after a development rally Mutharika had in Mulanje district launching the 8th Phase of the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP).
Presidential spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani said was not briefed on the reasons behind Kaliati’s dismissal, but Nyasa Times credible sources within DPP and is close to Mutharika disclosed that the President made his decision based on the reported argument the two had.
It is indicated that Jeffrey failed to recognize Kaliati in her salutations during the rally and that did not please the fired minister who lambasted the party secretary general, questioning her position in the party.
Kaliati was heard shouting at Jeffrey “Kodi mwabwera liti muchipani inu?” (How long have you been in the party?) And the argument nearly spilled into a fight forcing current Minister of Information, Nicholas Dausi to intervene.
“Jeffrey did not recognize Kaliati during the remarks. She in fact recognized all ministers except her; she even recognized Dowa Central Parliamentarian Jean Kalilani twice, and that did not go well with Kaliati,” explained our source who also witnessed the incident.
“They nearly exchanged blows, thanks to honorable Dausi who came in to cool down the tension. The President was briefed and was not happy with happened.”
Both Kaliati and Jeffrey popularly known as Jeffrey wa Jeffrey played down the issue, claiming nothing of sort happened.
“I did not argue with her (Jeffrey). It’s the President’s constitution powers to hire and fire cabinet ministers,” said Kaliati.
Jeffrey said: “Nothing happened between us, and I did not know that she has been fired from cabinet. Am hearing it from you; she is my best friend we could not argue or fight.”.
Asked why she did not recognize Kaliati in her salutations while all other speakers prior to Mutharika’s speech only recognized five main ministers in the cabinet, Jeffrey played it down claiming not every person present was recognized.
“I don’t think everyone was recognized. But take my word, we did not argue and I can’t argue with her. That incident did not happen.”
The President has since replaced Kaliati with Jeffrey’s deputy, Cecilia Chazama.
Nyasa Times understand that Kaliati was put on the list of high officials in the party as well as cabinet suspected to be working against Mutharika’s administration by leaking information to the media to embarrass the President and other top government officials.
DPP has of late been facing “gossipgate” in its rank and file.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :