With sagacity, the late President Bingu Wa Mutharika, who was the brother of the estranged former President Peter Mutharika, decreed the relocation of government office headquarters to Lilongwe for smoother operations. This initiative has been upheld by current President Lazarus Chakwera, who has overseen the move of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and Prison Headquarters to Lilongwe.
In the case of the Prison headquarters, the rationale was that Chiefs of Prisons needed to convene with senior government officials in Lilongwe, and this necessitated extensive travel, incurring significant expenses. This could be mitigated if they were situated in the same locale in the capital, Lilongwe. The same reasoning applies to other government institutions.
However, Peter Mutharika contends that this government decision, initiated by his brother, is an economic sanction against the Southern Region. For this reason, he intends to run for office again in 2025 with the aim of reversing these relocation decisions.
Despite his legal background, what Muharika said at Chonde during the Mlakho Wa Alomwe cultural festival yesterday, declaring his intention to run in 2025, demonstrates a disregard for democratic processes. To become a candidate, one must undergo a convention that makes the decision. In other words, self-imposition is not permissible, especially with other DPP candidates vying for the same presidential candidacy.
In the interim, the court has mandated the DPP to hold elections within 90 days following a ruling two weeks ago, noting that positions within the DPP had already expired according to the party’s constitution. Intelligence suggests Peter Mutharika may lose at the convention to leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa who is said to have a magic wand of binding the party than Mutharika who is seen as old, fragile and not fit to steer the party further.