The Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) on Monday weighed in on heightened speculation over President Peter Mutharika’s abrupt cancellation of whistle stop tours in the central region, insisting there was nothing “wrong” with the first citizen; but, rather, he had to attend to “urgent matters.”
A statement signed by Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Lloyd Muhara said Mutharika, who is governing Democratic Progressive Party candidate in the elections, and seen by Nyasa Times, indicated Mutharika would resume his campaign trail from one o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday.
According to the statement, Mutharika will have stopovers in Salima and Dedza that will be capped by rallies at Ngodzi and Mtakataka.
“His Excellency the President will visit the people of Salima and Dedza on whistle stop tour as follows, Salima Boma, Keterera , Ngozi and Mtakataka Trading Centre,” reads part of the statement.
Muhara on Sunday announced that Mutharika had cancelled a scheduled whistle-stop campaign tour, triggering speculations that the incumbent President was not feeling well.
However, Muhara stated that President Mutharika “postponed” the tour “due to urgent matters that have to be done”.
Meanwhile, Minister of Information and government spokesperson, Henry Mussa, has described rumors that alleged the President was sick as unfortunate.
“It is the same haters who don’t wish the president well. President Mutharika is fit and well as you have heard, and the President continues with his campaign trail tomorrow.
“Malawians must know that the President is a busy person, looking after over 17 million people. Often times his office requires his time, and that was what happened yesterday,” said Mussa.
Mutharika and his six contenders in the elections have been on the campaign trail in search of votes in the elections which analysts have predicted will be highly contested.
His main contenders for the presidency who were on the road yesterday include United Democratic Front (UDF) presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi, who held a rally in Mzuzu; UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima in Zomba while Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera was in Lilongwe rural.
According to the Malawi Electoral Commission, 6.8 million people nationwide registered to vote in this year’s elections.