• December 5, 2022 2:11 am

Mutharika plans political come back to contest at 85

Jul 11, 2022

What unfinished business does he have at State House

A tale of two different worlds in the same planet. As Boris Johnson was announcing his resignation as the British Prime Minister and leader of Conservative Party to pave way for the mew leadership at the age of 57 somewhere in Malawi Peter Mutharika, aged 82, announced a continuation of his reign as the leader of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and set to represent the party in 2025 elections.

Speaking in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA), Mutharika hinted on his desire to return to the ballot. The former Head of State claimed that a section of party supporters, religious leaders and some traditional leaders are pressurizing him to contest in the next Presidential election.

This rumour may not be new as it has been in the public domain for some time now. It started as one of those many rumours we have in the country but coming from the horse’s mouth, the issue is proving to be true When his endorsement started early this year, some people in the party are on record requesting Mutharika to consider running again.

So, as members of Conservative Party in Britain are filing up and positioning themselves for leadership contest scheduled for this week to replace Johnson, Mutharika decided to vindicate those who think that the DPP is a family enterprise. Politics is regarded as a contested terrain but for Mutharika, he thinks he has the divine rights to be leader of DPP as long as he lives.

Kondwani Nankhumwa may not be sophisticated for the modern-day leadership but maybe he saw this coming, hence his insistence for an open contest in the leadership succession. And there are those who have been playing “good boy” to Mutharika so they gain favours from him and be anointed as his successor. What do they make of this development?
This remind me of what President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera said in his inaugural address as the sixth President at of Malawi on 7th July 2020 at Kamuzu Barrack that he may be the last member of the generation born before independence. But when he said this no one envisaged Mutharika contemplating on a possible return to power. It is shocking that 5 years later, someone who will be 85 in 2025 will retire from retirement and compete for the Presidency again.

This is what the then President Elect Chakwera said: “Two scores and sixty years ago our nation was born. It was the birth that I myself bore witness to, for not only was I a young boy of 9 on that day I was also one of the only four million people to have gone to bed a Nyasa and rise the following morning a Malawian. Of that generation, only half of us remain and with passing year our numbers fall as we continue to pass the button of turning our land into a great nation to the next generation.

“To facilitate this transfer, four men and one woman from among those of us who were the last to be called Nyasa’s have thus far been entrusted with the Presidency of Malawi. In joining that cohort as the sixth President of Malawi I am fully aware that I may very well be the last member of that fading generation to hold this office. I am fully aware that it has fallen on me to complete the transfer of this mantle of nation building to a rising generation of Malawian born frees.”

Although he was still oozing with the air of youthful aural during his inauguration, President Chakwera acknowledged that he was privileged to be the beneficiary to the popular notion that children are the future leaders. It is from that realization that he hoped to pass the reigns of power to “born frees” and the millennials.

Granted that the constitution does not bar him to contest in the next election, he is free to contest but what new things will Mutharika offer to Malawians? Was his booting out of power not statement enough for him to comprehend that he had overstated his welcome in power?

Obviously Mutharika will force his way in the DPP to become its torchbearer, let us hope that Malawians will not make a mistake, grant him his wish to become the President again and continue from where he stopped; plundering this nation to death.

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