President Peter Mutharika has stripped Vice President Saulos Chilima of the role of Minister of Disaster Management Affairs following a recent fallout between the two and now all the tasks the latter had been empowered to oversee are removed.
Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that President Mutharika “in exerices of powers conferred upon him by the Constitution has directed that with immediate effect, the functions of the Department of Disaster Management Affars and National Public Events be under the Office of the President and Cabinet.”
Ironically the decision was announced on July 6 the day Malawi was celebrating 54 years of political independence from the British.
It was also just a day after Chilima put his hat in the ring to challenge Mutharika in next year’s presidential race.
The President has suffered a more reputation damage recently after the media reported on leaked Anti Corruptio Bureau (ACB) investigations report which suggested that he benefitted from a suppLy food rations to the police service with a K145 million – enough money to fund a ministry for a year or build 15 health centres or enough to settle arrears for teachers on the brink of a national strike.
But reacting to the firing of his Vice President as Minister of DoDMA, Malawians took to social media to condemn this.
“This is not punishing Chilima but Malawians. DoDMA had been revamped under Chilima and now we are back to square one,” wrote Jones Kalichero on Facebook.
“When shall we grow up as a country? He has a right to vy for the presidency without victimisation,” tweeted one.
However many said this was predictable, saying victimising Vice Presidents and pomposity are the DNA of the governing Democrtaic Progressive Party (DPP).
The party did the same to its previous Vice President Joyce Banda and Dr. Cassim Chilumpha. And as many have observed it is doubtful that DoDMA, in Office of President now, will remain revamped and vibrant as has has been under Chilima if what happened to public reforms is anything to go by.
In 2017 the party stripped Chilima of his role as Chairman of Reforms on the basis that he was becoming more popular as a performer.
However, reacting to his recent dismissal as DoDMA Minister – Chilima was more respectful in his response through his media aide Pilirani Phiri.
“It is the prerogative of His Excellency the Pesident to assign and reassign ministries and departments. The Vice President is thankful for the opportunity to have served Malawians in that capacity as Minister of Disaster Management Affairs”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :