President Peter Mutharika has condemned political posturing in the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), telling the respective ‘camps’ to stop canvassing for leadership and instead wait until 2023 when his successor will be chosen at a convention.
The President made the call on Sunday at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe on arrival from London, United Kingdom (UK) where he attended the inaugural UK–Africa Investment Forum.
In a speech monitored on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Radio 1, Mutharika asked the DPP leadership from national governing council (NGC) through to youth and women’s committees to refrain from creating what he described as “camps” and instead work as one family.
He said: “You should stop creating the camps. Let us wait until 2023 when, as DPP, we will choose a candidate to replace me and lead the party in the 2024 elections.
“We will have the convention in May, June or July 2023. Please be patient. For now, APM is the leader of DPP until 2023…”
Mutharika’s sentiments come against a background of reports of factions among some of his Cabinet ministers and NGC members canvassing to take over the party’s leadership.
Meanwhile, Lily Kampani of Malawi News Agency quoted the President as having asked political leaders and Malawians in general to desist from causing unrest and instigating tension, saying the situation is detrimental to attracting potential investors.
He said: “The international community has expressed confidence in our macro-economic situation here. They say it is an economy where they can invest in power, agriculture, infrastructure, health and education.”
Mutharika said the international community is impressed that Malawi’s economy has grown at a faster rate.
He said: “I assured the investors that Malawi is a peaceful nation and that the tense situation in the country is temporary and it will change.
“I am pleading with my fellow Malawians to withdraw from the path we have taken, of destruction; sit down and reconcile to move forward and rebuild this country.”
In the aftermath of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections, political tension has engulfed Malawi, especially with the landmark presidential election results nullification petition filed by two of the presidential candidates in the race, namely UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party.
The High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court is set to deliver its ruling in under eight days.
Besides the court case, civil society organisations under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have been holding a series of demonstrations to force the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah and her commissioners for allegedly presiding over a flawed electoral process fraught with irregularities. In some cases, the demonstrations have turned ugly, leading to looting, damage of property and injury to people.
The London summit brought together business community, heads of State and government and international institutions to showcase and promote investment opportunities across Africa and strengthen UK’s partnership with the continent.