Ever since Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM) lost to President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera in a Fresh Presidential Election in June 2020, he has tried his best to ‘fight’ Chakwera through George Chaponda.
That is why Mutharika, through his party – Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) – is working hard to ensure Chaponda replaces Mulanje Central lawmaker, Kondwani Nankhumwa, as Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly.
APM ruled Malawi from 2014 to 2020 and his reign was well known for bad governance which rocked the country through corruption, tribalism, nepotism, lack of rule of law, killing and abduction of people with albinism; among many vices, which negatively affected national development.
At a time when most Malawians thought the former president would take a breather and allow the incumbent Head of State execute his duties without any disturbance, Mutharika has been busy working underground to frustrate development projects President Chakwera has initiated.
However, he feels his agenda is not being successful enough because he believes Nankhumwa is ‘weak’. He prefers Chaponda to be Leader of Opposition so that he can be opposing any development plans President Chakwera and his administration proposes to transform the nation.
That is why Mutharika relentlessly defended the Mulanje South West legislator when speculations started circulating that he was involved in the maize-gate scandal. Of course, the court cleared him on this matter.
The other reason why APM prefers is so fond of his former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development is that the two are cousins. And you know what that means!
Mutharika is no stranger to nepotism and tribalism. Actually, the former Head of State and nepotism are inseparable. During his six-year rule, the former president successfully perfected and promoted nepotism, ethnicity and tribalism without any iota of shame.
It was against this background that in June 2014, social commentator Mzati Nkolokosa and human rights activist, Billy Mayaya, raised a red flag against his tendency to appoint cabinet ministers, senior civil servants and public officers based on their ethnic and regional backgrounds.
Those from other regions could be considered for higher positions in government only if they had demonstrated their affiliation to the former ruling party.
Former member of Parliament for Mzimba West, Harry Mlekanjala Mkandawire, expressed fear that Mutharika’s nepotism and tribalism would plunge the country into untold misery, if he had been given more years to rule.
APM himself once admitted that, if given another chance to rule, he will choose his ‘boys’; apparently meaning his tribesmen to help him victimize people of other regions.
Commenting on the address by the former ruling party’s regional governor for Southern Region, Charles Mchacha, at a media briefing in Blantyre some months ago, that the party would hold a rally; particularly to confess to Malawians for wrongdoings during APM’s reign, political commentator, Wonderful Mkhutche, said it was not surprising that the party harboured such plans since its last five year rule was riddled with rampant corruption, nepotism and general maladministration.
“One thing that Malawians clearly remember about DPP is corruption. Now that the party is admitting its poor leadership, let them confess the same and apologise to Malawians for the poor governance during their reign,” said Mkhutche.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly, who is also the Chairperson of the Business Committee of Parliament, Catherine Gotani Hara, on Wednesday sent Chaponda out of the Business Committee meeting at Parliament Building in Lilongwe.
Apparently, both he and Kondwani Nankhumwa had appeared in their ‘capacity’ as Leaders of Opposition.
Hara told the meeting that Chaponda had an injunction on his head, stopping him from being Leader of Opposition.