Political pundits in the country have told President Peter Mutharika to restore the security detail of vice president Saulos Chilima which the state took away on Wednesday, saying the development could be a precursor to much more sinister motives.
The police on Wednesday stripped off Chilima of his 42 security detail, leaving with him less than a dozen.
Chancellor College’s political scientist Ernest Thindwa said the stripping of the veep’s security detail puts Chilima at risk, saying it was ironic that just on Saturday he told a rally that he was at risk of being attacked by the notorious ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cadets.
“The president and the government should know that the vice president was put on that position by Malawians. Malawians voted for him along with the president during the 2014 elections therefore the president has no powers whatsoever to deny the vice president the benefits he is entitled to,” said Thindwa.
He said what Mutharika and his DPP led government have done by stripping the vice president of his security detail should be condemned in the strongest term.
“The rule of law is important. The slashing of his security detail puts his life in danger. Why can’t they slash the security of the president? I understand the government frustrations over the veep’s decision to leave the DPP but it is not the DPP that voted him into power, it is Malawians,” he said.
Another Chancellor College political scientist Mustafa Hussein said this was a calculated move by the government to go back to the DPP.
“This is just a calculated move by the government to frustrate him as he embarks on a campaign to unseat Mutharika during the 2019 elections but the [Republican] constitutional provisions have been manipulated,” he said.
He said the stripping off of the veep’s security detail had to do with politics and not financial prudence.
“What this means is that when the vice-president is traveling, he will be required to hire private security to guard his family and the official residence, which is government property,” Chilima’s spokesman, Pilirani Phiri said in quotes reported by Bloomberg News. “It’s all politics, but we’ll survive.”
DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said the government has just given Chilima what he is entitled to.
Dausi said Chilima had more than what he needed security detail but refused to say why Mutharika’s security detail has not been slashed.
Chilima, 45, left the ruling Democratic Progressive Party last month, after accusing it of condoning corruption and nepotism.
On July 21, the former CEO of Bharti Airtel’s Malawian unit announced his formation of the United Transformation Movement, with which he will be a candidate for president in elections to be held in May.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :