No second Veep, donors tell Malawi leader

The writing is now on the wall. Leader of the opposition John Tembo may not be appointed as Malawi’s second vice President if the recommendations  by the country’s donors under the Common Approachto Budgetary Support (CABS) is to be adhered to, Nyasa Times can reveal.

Highly placed source in the CABS group which meets regularly to discuss budgetary issues for Malawi have come to a consensus that “having a second vice president in Malawi will be ceremonial and a drain of public resources.”

“It will be up to President Banda to take our advice. It really does not serve Malawians interest to set up another Presidential office in the current economic situation,” said one donor.

Tembo: Left in the cold for second vice president post

This will be a heavy blow to Tembo, who has had presidential ambitions since the demise of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP)  longest serving  Head of State Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

Tembo, now aged 81 may not be eligible to run for President in 2014 not only for his age limitations but also the MCP constitution which has limits to how many times a party presidential aspirant can represent the oldest party in Parliament.

The CABS were still non-committal whether their recommendation will be adhered and the repercussions of not adhering to the dose.

“It’s really up to the President and her government to do the right thing. We believe Malawi is and will not be ready to have costly second vice presidential position with the current economic conditions,” said the source.

All Malawi donors have already pat on the back of Joyce Banda’s administration for promises she has made in cutting down costs and waste in government.

“We believe she knows pretty well the danger of doing the opposite,” said the source.

Despite going public that he will accept the offer of being Malawi’s second vice President, Tembo who also advocate for lean public spending has not shown publicly his desire to decline the seat “to serve money for the poor Malawians.”

Ironically, President Banda has also been mum on this speculation that Tembo may be her second deputy fuelling more rumours that Tembo could be on his way to be her third in-charge.

Malawi is a developing country whose GDP per capita is pegged at $800 per annum and 60 percent of its population still lives below the World Bank’s poverty barometer of a dollar per day.

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