Peter Mutharika goes AWOL after Bingu bashing

Foreign Minister Peter Mutharika has been on ‘Absent Without Leave’ (AWOL) after he had travelled to the United States of America (USA) three weeks ago after picking up a quarrel with his elder brother and President of the Republic of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika.

State House sources revealed to Nyasa Timesthat reports that the younger Mutharika irked the President when he used a helicopter to fly to Mzuzu on December 5, 2011 to address a political rally without prior permission and authorization from the Head of State, who was abroad on an official trip.

Peter Mutharika: AWOL

“The rally in Mzuzu was an impromptu one and on the day of the rally, the President’s brother was still in the Capital and what does the Director of State Residences (Edward Sawerengera) do; he impresses upon the Foreign Minister to use a presidential helicopter, which was immediately called for and the Minister, his ‘entourage’ and security detail flew to the northern city,” said a State House source who preferred anonymity.

He said the President  was annoyed with his brother’s ‘extravagance’ and ‘impunity’ to use a presidential helicopter when he was a mere cabinet minister and got “very angry”.

Rebuked

The President is reported to have summoned Peter Mutharika to the New State House in Lilongwe and drastically rebuked and reprimanded him for the “blatant abuse of state resources in these hard economic times”.

“The President was extremely furious particularly considering that his administration was already under intense local and international pressure of economic mismanagement.

“Following complaints among DPP MP over alleged Peter Mutharika’s arrogance as if he was already Head of State, the President was out of sorts; he could not believe what Peter had done,” said the source within the State House security system.

In reaction, Peter Mutharika decided to go on ‘AWOL’ in the United States and that he has since not returned home.

Addis

 Unconfirmed reports indicate that he is not in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where Foreign Ministers from the African Union (AU) member states have been meeting ahead of an AU Heads of State summit this weekend.

In his place, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Kondwani Nankhumwa flew to Addis.

President Mutharika leaves Lilongwe on Friday for Addis Ababa to attend the AU Heads of State and Government Summit.
Candidacy

In August 2011, the DPP National Governing Council (NGC) endorsed Peter Mutharika as presidential candidate for the 2014 elections. This announcement came a few days after the July 20, 2011 protests where nationwide strikes were held against the Mutharika regime.

His appointment decision was made by President Mutharika and endorsed by the DPP NGC since the party did not hold a convention to elect new leaders.

The DPP Secretary General, Wakuda Kamanga, had said that the decision was made in spite of the protests because the party believed that the “anger would fade”.

The recent row between the President and his younger brother has thrown the DPP into further turmoil as factions seem to be emerging with one supporting the young Mutharika and the other urging on the President to prolong his rule beyond the constitutional tenure that ends in 2014.

Peter Mutharika is also on record slandering Bintony Kutsaila but President Mutharika has shown confidence to Kutsaira by appointing him head of state security intelligence organ.

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