Mutharika not Jesus, ‘won’t resurrect’ presidency switches to JB

When he was alive President Bingu wa Mutharika warned his critics he is not Jesus Christ but he was “son of man”. Indeed he was and now that he is dead, no-one expect him to resurrect like Jesus and power transition process has now started in Malawi.

Top Malawi Army officer Brigadier General John Msonthi has had an audience with Her Excellency Madam Joyce Banda, the Vice President who will ascend to the presidency as per Constitutional requirement.

The Malawi leader Mrs Banda has also had an audience with heads of diplomatic missions of Norway, Britain, Tanzania, the dean of ambassadors Zimbabwean Thandie Dumbuchena.

Banda and Mutharika: The two were elected on same ballot

Also calling on Her Excellency Banda was the China envoy.

Some ministers who have spoken to Nyasa Times say they would want the Constitution to be respected and allow Banda take over power.

Top military officers were also calling for a Constitutional order.

And the-Civil society leaders have called on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and government to respect constitution.

Chairperson of the CSO Rev MacDonald Sembereka said: “The constitution provides that the vice president takes over leadership in case the president is incapacitated or dies.”

Government officials have not come out in the open to announce the death of the 78 year old economist turned politician who suffered a cardiac arrest Thursday and was flown to South Africa clinically dead.

“We would like to call on the office of the speaker of parliament to expedite the process of announcing that the vice president Joyce Banda takes over leadership as stipulated in the constitution,” said Benedicto Kondowe warning that failing to do that will force the civil society to move the courts and take unspecific actions.

Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice (CCJP) official Peter Chinoko said according to the constitution it was only the vice president who can call for a cabinet meeting or command the police or the army in the absence of the president.

“Any cabinet meeting that is not called for by the president or his vice is invalid,” he said.

Another civil rights leader Martha Kwataine said the Office of the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice should avoid creating a political crisis by holding the citizens in suspense or trying to put in office people not supported by the constitution.

Other members warned that putting other people other than the one supported by the constitution who amount in a coup.

Billy Mayaya asked DPP officials not to create chaos where such could be avoided.

Banda, the country’s first woman vice-president and former minister Khumbo Kachali were fired from Mutharika’s party after a row over who will succeed the head of state.

Mutharika picked Banda, a popular grassroots campaigner, as his running mate in the 2009 presidential race, a ‘dream ticket’ which ensured him a landslide victory.

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