Political analysts say President Peter Mutharika has been caught in the trappings of power that saw his party tasting political waters with Sports Minister Grace Chiumia declaring he is ‘life president’ at the fundraising dinner of the Mulhako wa Alhomwe in Lilongwe on Friday where he was guest of honour.
Chiumia called Muthalika the ‘life President’ in her remarks and Mutharika was comfortable with the remarks by not correcting the speech.
According to Chiumia, who is also the Nkhata-bay lawmaker under the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the remark was as a result of a slip of the tongue.
But Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI) executive director Rafiq Hajat said Muthalika’s silence on the matter enlightens that he agreed he is in supportive to the making of a dictator
“Of course we know that anyone makes mistake but what Malawians expected on the day was to see the Minister to correct her speech or the President himself,” said Hajat.
“The speech was from honorable person and it smells fishy to Malawians. Remember, Bingu wa Muthalika who is the former president of the country as well as the brother to the incumbent President was also named Ngwazi (copy cat to Ngwazi Kamuzu Banda) without objection. So Malawians think that the speech was true,” he explained.
Kamuzu Banda was also president for life before he was ousted by Bakili Muluzi in 1994 multiparty elections.
The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) condemned the remarks saying it is part of showing dictatorship.
Hajat has since called on Mutharika to also apologize in order to clear the mess.
Meanwhile, some Malawians believe that Chiumia’s speech reflects what the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) plans to do because most of DPP senior officials claim that their party will be in government for ever.
Observers say the punchline of ‘life- president’ remarks is that Mutharika is up for running in 2019 for another term of office and might be difficult to displace within the DPP rank and file.
Agriculture Minister George Chaponda has been repositioning himself as the heir apparent to Mutharika for 2019 elections but if Chaponda is going to be the next president of Malawi, he’ll probably have to do it from outside the DPP tent, which makes the task considerably more difficult.
Chaponda’s immediate route to ultimate power is not simple any more as Mutharika is staying put.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :