Mutharika on US fundraising tour: Obama meeting a hoax

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) interim president Professor Peter Mutharika is in the United States to fundraise for his 2014 presidential campaign with the party describing the much touted meeting with President Barack Obama as a hoax.

Mutharika has been in the US since December and DPP officials told Malawians that his itinerary included meeting President Barack Obama before proceeding to the UK.

But DPP publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi said in interview, the Obama meeting was fabricated and the party has since distanced itself from it.

“What I know is that he left for a personal and private trip. He did not disclose details of the trip to the party or anybody. The meeting with President Barack Obama should be a story some people fabricated. As a party we never said anything about that alleged meeting,” Dausi told Nyasa Times.

Mutharika: There was no Obama meeting afterall
Mutharika: There was no Obama meeting afterall

The Obama meeting was raised by the party’s acting Secretary-general Dr Allan Chiyembekeza and Mutharika’s aide Kondwani Nankhumwa.

Mutharika has not responded to a questionnaire Nyasa Times sent to him last month as a follow-up to his trip and alleged meeting with Obama.

But corroborated information Nyasa Times has sourced, indicates that the DPP 2014 presidential hopeful embarked on the tour just to raise funds for his 2014 presidential bid campaign.

The information indicates that Mutharika had been holding meetings with various ‘money-spinners’ to sell out his candidature and win their favour to finance his campaign.

“He has been in USA, UK and China, meeting some people in order to raise funds for his campaign. Some of them are the ones who promised to buy the party helicopters for its campaign,” disclosed one of the party officials.

But Dausi, while defending Mutharika’s trip as private business, said it was not strange for a party leader to go around seeking for financial assistance.

“It’s possible for him to go around forming a network of friends who can assist him. It is not strange thing, if the whole President of a country seeks financial help from other countries, why not him? Politics is a continuous struggle, and as a leader he has to be part of the network of people in the global village,” said Dausi.

Asked when Mutharika will return home, Dausi just said: “Nobody knows when he is coming back. The party has not been communicated”.

Mutharika’s supposed meeting with Obama generated heated debate especially on social media, with most forums questioning whether it can happen or not.

Some alleged that Mutharika had gone to the US to renew his citizenship.

In an earlier interview with Nyasa Times, Chiyembekeza dismissed reports gone viral on internet that Mutharika was running away from party obligations and has left for USA to renew his citizenship, and attend interviews in a law firm.

“It’s holiday season, and just like everybody else he is entitled to a holiday as well. The party secretariat will be in control of all affairs while he is abroad. This is just a private trip and no need for people to gossip about it,” said Chiyembekeza who refused to disclose when Mutharika will meet Obama.

Mutharika is tipped to lead DPP in the 2014 elections with the party to hold its convention in April in Lilongwe to elect eligible executive committee.

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