PP ‘schools’ Aford on Veep role

By Lusubilo Sichali, Nyasa Times 

The newly-registered People’s Party (PP)  has reiterated that its leader and state vice president Joyce Banda has a constitutional obligation to protect and uphold citizens’  rights in Malawi and that she would not depart from that duty as long as constitutional and human rights violations continue in Malawi.

PP’s national publicity director Stephen Mwenye said this in reaction to an article that appeared in the Eye Witness newspaper on Friday that quoted Alliance for Democracy (Aford) party election and campaign director, Dan Msowoya as having demanded the resignation of Banda “for criticizing her own government”.

Actually, Mwenye noted, the state vice president was only criticizing the “unfortunate”  manner  the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was running government.

Speaking to Nyasa Times in Blantyre, Mwenye said on the contrary, it should be the constitution violators in government who should resign as they had compromised their constitutional duty to protect and uphold the Republican Constitution.

Joyce Banda: State vice president a constitutional office

“The vice president has said on a number of occasions that when she took her oath of office in May, 2009, she swore to protect the constitution, the supreme law of the land. There are documented constitutional violations occasioned by the very high office of the land; people are discontented over the rising cost of living; and they are denied their right to demonstrate peacefully or speak against the various ills being suffered. Right Honourable Banda refuses to be part of this mess,” said Mwenye.

He added that if she did not point out the wrongs, then she indeed ought to resign for failing to carry out her constitutional obligations.

The PP publicist observed that under the Bill of Rights, chapter IV, sub-section 18, it is provided for that every person has the right to personal liberty. He said it is only when people have the basic life necessities that they can enjoy meaningful liberty.

President Bingu wa Mutharika has recently been making public utterances against his vice, accusing her of being behind the July 17 mass demonstration, where at least 18 people were killed by police.

Prior to the demonstrations, the VP had issued a statement urging on government to avoid stopping the demos, arguing it was the people’s right to demonstrate peacefully against or in favour of any cause.

Banda was expelled as DPP first vice president in December 2010 apparently for not supporting the idea of the president’s brother, Professor Peter Mutharika to be the automatic presidential candidate for the governing party in 2014 as if Malawi had become monarchy.

The younger Mutharika has since been officially as the DPP’s 2014 torch-bearer by the party’s National Governing Council (NGC).

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