There is mounting specualtion that P[resident Peter Mutharika was set to appoint United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi, who is also Minister of Health in 20-member Cabinet, as second Vice President in the impending cabinet reshuffle, but government has kept a tight lid on the matter.
Social-media has been awash with speculations that the young Muluzi will be elevated to the position of third in command in the Mutharika administration as the second-in-command Saulos Chilima resigned from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and formed his United Transformation Movement (UTM) on whose ticket he plans to challenge Mutharika in presidential race.
Government spokesman and Minister of Information Nicholous Dausi declined to comment on the matter, saying it was people’s “figment of imagination.”
Under the Republican Constitution, the P resident has the option of appointing a second vice president, who must be from a different party.
Section 80 subsection 4 of the Malawi Constitution says: “The First Vice-President shall be elected concurrently with the President and the name of a candidate for the First Vice President shall appear on the same ballot paper as the name of the Presidential candidate who nominated him.”
Former president Bakili Muluzi appointed Chakufwa Chihana to the second vice presidency.
Constitutional law observers says anyone appointed to the second vice president post should relinquishing his parliamentary seat first before taking an oath of office.
According to Section 80 of the constitution, one cannot be both MP and second vice president.
The constitution stipulates that the first vice-president must come from the ruling party while the second vice-president must come from the opposition.