Malawi President Arthur Peter Mutharika, whose second and final five-year term victory is being challenged in the Malawi Constitutional Court, says will not groom anybody in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to take over from him in 2024.
President Mutharika said this during a half an hour program on one of the reputable media organization in the world, Aljazeera.
“There are many young people in the Government. In my cabinet, half the cabinet is under 40. We even have a 23 year old parliamentarian. I don’t think it is necessary to groom somebody. This is a democracy.
“This is not a monarchy and I cannot anoint anybody. The DPP will decide in 2023 at the convention on who should be the leader of the party and therefore the presidential candidate,” said Mutharika when asked on whether he was grooming someone to take over from him.
Mutharika’s stand on the succession plan comes amid reports that factions have emerged in the ruling DPP wrestling for the party’s driving seat in 2024.
Apart from Kondwani Nankhumwa, Ben Phiri, and Joseph Mwanamveka, unverified reports indicate that FDH Bank chief executive officer Thom Mpinganjira is also eyeing for the same top position.
Asked on the post election demonstrations, President Mutharika, while saying citizens have a constitutional right to demonstrate, strongly refuted assertions that the May 21st Presidential election was rigged.
President Mutharika, who looked very composed throughout the no-holds-barred interview, firmly told the finest world media that the 2019 elections were free, fair and credible as was declared by six election observers namely European Union, African Union, Commonwealth among others.
He further said that the demonstrations that are being organized by the Human Rights Defenders are not affecting implementation of his promises he made during the campaign.
“It does not affect my programmes. All the programmes we promise during the campaign, we are doing them.”
On the same, President Mutharika said he is not against the demonstrations but is against violent demonstrations. He said no right is superior than the other and he has since challenged the demonstrators to stop because they don’t have a point.
Professor Mutharika said he is not surprised with the post election violence being championed by HRDC’S Timothy Mtambo and MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera because they already planned for this in February following a leaked conversation between the two that they would not accept the election outcome not in MCP’s favor.
“Under the constitution, peaceful demonstrations are allowed, and I support that. I am one of the drafters of the constitution, Am a Comparative Constitutional Lawyer myself. What has happened is that, these demonstrations are becoming violent, property has been destroyed- what the attorney general did was to go to court and get an injunction to stop violent demonstrations until the organisers of the demonstrations can prove to the court that they are able to conduct peaceful demonstrations. I swear to protect the people, and also to protect the country and that’s what the attorney general was doing,” said the Malawi leader.
Meanwhile, different quarters have blamed HRDC for continuing with its protests while the election case is in court and moving at supersonic speed.
Few days ago, renowned Prophet Shepherd Bushiri asked all stakeholders to observe peace and start preparing themselves to accept positively any outcome from the constitutional court which is expected to be ready by November next month.