Monday, April 22, 2024

APM with an excuse to shun Malawi Pres. Chakwera meeting invitation on Cyclone Freddy response 

Peter Mutharika

In an extraordinary show of leadership by President Lazarus Chakwera knowing that he is not all-knowing and that in such bad times as this, all hands must be on deck, hence inviting all former Malawi leaders to discuss how Malawi can contain the Cyclone Freddy-induced devastation, former Malawi Pres. Peter Mutharika, surprisingly has started giving an excuse not to attend the meeting scheduled for Thursday at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.

The former President according to local reports says will only attend the meeting if and only if it takes place at a ‘neutral venue’  and not at Sanjika Palace, Chakwera’s official residence. Surprisingly, the President operates and transacts official government meetings and functions at his residence at Kamuzu Palace, Sanjika Palace, and all other state residences in all parts of the country.

Mutharika’s spokesperson says Mutharika will attend the meeting if it takes place outside Sanjika palace, at a neutral place.

“We would love the venue of the meeting to be at his office, not his residence, somewhere neutral. And we also need to exactly know the agenda,” says Namalomba in a written response.

Sunday evening, President Chakwera indicated he had personally invited the former presidents to discuss the cyclone which has claimed over 500 lives and left at least 450 thousand others desperate and homeless.

But Information Minister and government spokesperson, Moses Kunkuyu claimed that Mutharika is just attempting to bring excuses to shun the meeting he describes as so important amid the current crisis.

Argues Kunkuyu: “The president meets several delegates, both from within and outside the country at Sanjika Palace. It’s an official place too. Moreover, it is a meeting of brothers and sisters who want to discuss a crisis. Anything wrong with that?”

He adds Mutharika has always avoided public gatherings where the incumbent president and other former heads of state are in attendance. He cites the Chiwanja Cha Ayao cultural ceremony last year where he was represented by DPP’s senior member, Dr. George Chaponda.

Commenting on the matter, social and political commentator, Humphrey Mvula finds no sense in Mutharika’s demands. He thinks Mutharika is still leaving in denial that he lost the presidency.

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