President Peter Mutharika on Thursday revealed his cold side when he snubbed leader of opposition in parliament Lazarus Chakwera during official opening of Hard to Defeat (HTD)-Abdul Majid Motor City at Ginnery Corner in the commercial capital Blantyre.
Chakwera was among the invited guests who included former president Bakili Muluzi, Mayor for Blantyre City Assembly Noel Chalamanda, parliamentarians, business community, members of clergy, members of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and Malawians of good will.
Mutharika failed to recognise Chakwera’s presence at the function when he could not offer a handshake and did not even bother to mention him in his salutations.
This was for the first time Mutharika came face to face with his main rival after defeating him in the May elections of which the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader has been claiming to have eligibly won.
Chakwera once snubbed Mutharika’s luncheon he hosted for fellow presidential contestants at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre a month ago.
In his speech during the opening of Hard to Defeat (HTD)-Abdul Majid Motor City, Mutharika only recognised Muluzi and other notable key faces but not opposition leader Chakwera raising speculation of the growing differences between the two.
One of government officials confided to Nyasa Times that the two do not see each other eye to eye due to Chakwera’s stance on much heated debate on proposition for Malawi to adopt federalism.
“Its ongoing fight and we don’t think it will cool off any time soon. The President expected Chakwera to take different approach on federalism but the propositions his party has been making recently, seem to aggravate their differences,” one top DPP and government official told Nyasa Times.
Mutharika was declared victor of May elections which was marred with legal battles.
MCP still claims Mutharika is ruling on stolen votes and has been discrediting his mandate to govern.