Malawi President Joyce Banda will today (Saturday) confer a medal of honour on Army Commander General Henry Odillo in the capital, Lilongwe alongside the commissioning of the 11th Battalion of the Malawi Armed Forces.
According to sources, the honour on Odillo is for his role in ensuring that the constitutional order was followed at the demise of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika.
According to a report by Justice Elton Singini (Retired) Commission of Inquiry, General Odillo refused the wishes of DPP acting president Peter Mutharika and other ministers to have the army take over government and block Banda’s (then Vice-President) ascendancy.
While confirming a medal has been arranged for Odillo, Malawi’s Defence Minister Ken Kandodo described it as “routine.”
“Several of these honours have been conferred before, why didn’t you ask? Am failing to understand,” he said.
Told of the coincidence that this is coming just a day before President Banda and her People’s Party celebrate 12 months of rule, the minister cautioned.
“Please don’t confuse this function with that happening the next day. This is a military function,” he said.
According to the Malawi Defence Act, the army has a duty to uphold the constitutional order.