Malawi Vice-President Khumbo Kachaliâ€™s remarks that caused public outrage last week are a blow and potential damage to his future political ambitions, analysts have observed.
But associate professor of political science at University of Malawiâ€™s Chancellor College Blessings Chinsinga said the public apology Kachali offered in Mzimba on Monday could mitigate the political implication of the remarks he made in Karonga about the presidencyâ€™s travel bill.
Kachali attracted the public wrath after he said President Joyce Banda and himself, though travelling on taxpayers money, do not visit peopleâ€™s mothers.
Kachali has this week officially and personally apologised for the remarks.
Said Chinsinga: â€œCertainly, the remarks by the Vice-President are a big blow and a big damage to the credibility of not only himself but the PP [Peopleâ€™s Party] government.
â€œDefinitely, people will ask questions if PP is any different from what we had in the past. It is still fresh in the minds of people that such kind of arrogance can destroy our country.â€
He said it is unfortunate the Malawi political system does not prepare politicians to take up senior positions which result in people finding themselves in top posts by sheer luck.
â€˜Damage done despite apologyâ€™
Lilongwe-based political analyst Henry Chingaipe said Kachaliâ€™s remarks would pass for political suicide in any vibrant democratic system. Chingaipe said the damage has been done despite the apology.
Said Chingaipe: â€œUnfortunately, in our defective democratic system, there is a chance that he may survive this tide. However, if voters should be concerned with real public issues in deciding who they vote for, I would not be surprised if they should decide to vote out the VP.
â€œFurthermore, if PP would like to project an image of decorum and integrity, they will have to find ways of censuring irresponsible and insensitive statements that members of its politburo are beginning to make as they consolidate their footholds in the ivory towers of political power.â€
JB canâ€™t fire VP
Chancellor College associate professor of law Edge Kanyongolo said although President Banda hand-picked Kachali, immediately he took an oath of office; hence, he can only be removed through impeachment.
â€œThe President cannot fire him because the Constitution does not distinguish how one comes into office, only if he was a second vice-president. But as it is, he can only be removed through impeachment,â€ said Kanyongolo.