Former president Peter Mutharika has said he is “very honoured” to receive this year’s Uhuru/Raila Peace-Accord honorary award at the 5th London Political Summit and Awards 2020 which has been presented to him through the summit’s ambassador hip-hop artist Tay Grin, who is also a member of his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Mutharika was chosen for the accolade in recognition of promoting peace, democracy and his high levels of political tolerance.
He is also credited for ensuring peaceful transition after his loss of power in June 23 2020 fresh presidential elections.
“I feel greatly honoured,” said Mutharika after receiving the award from Tay Grin from his retirement home in Mangochi, according to quotes attributed to him in a statement by London Political Summit.
To ensure political correctness, the London Political Summit has since extended the peace recognition to President Lazarus Chakwera who defeated Mutharika.
“The two political figures were awarded because they ensured a smooth and peaceful transition of leadership through upholding the separation of powers of the arms of government, through civic education and the protection of voter’s rights, in the pre- election period,” the organisation said in the statement.
The Uhuru/Raila Peace-Accord was created in 2018 by the London Political Summit following a truce between Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and former prime minister Raila Odinga on March 9 2018 after a conflict that emanated from a 2017 general election.
While Mutharika received in person the award from Tay Grim, President Chakwera sent his political advisor Ephraim Chivunde to receive the award.
The summit has honoured Mutharika and Chakwera, saying they have ensured “a peaceful transition of leadership.”
According to the summit chairperson Pauline Long, former president Mutharika’s presence and contribution to the virtual summit on Tuesday will help address socio-economic consequences of globalisation in view of Covid-19 and post-Brexit relations with Africa.
Chakwera is also expected to address the summit as a keynote speaker via a pre-recorded message.
Mutharika, an international law professor, became president in 2014 after taking over from Joyce Banda who ascended to the presidency following a constitutional order in the aftermath of the death of Mutharika’s brother, Bingu, in April 2012.
But while Mutharika triumphed in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party challenged the presidential poll results in court, citing massive irregularities that included use of correctional fluid Tippex to alter figures on results sheets.
On February 3 2020, the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court in Lilongwe nullified the presidential election and ordered a fresh one.
The historic fresh presidential election was held on June 23 2020 where MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera, who led the nine-party Tonse Alliance emerged winner with 58 percent of the vote against Mutharika’s 38 percent.