Ladies and gentlemen, I would like you all to think carefully about the letters that two of our former Presidents (Bingu and Bakili) exchanged in 2008
â€œDr. Muluzi, I know that you very much want me dead,â€ reads in part Mutharikaâ€™s letter to Muluzi of October 28, 2008. â€œI recently underwent a very thorough medical check-up and was given clean bill of health. I am sure if you watch television, you will see how fit I am. I play golf and keep all my international engagements. Is this a sign of a person who is dying soon?â€
Bingu went on to say: â€œYour health has considerably deteriorated over the past two years. I am sure other citizens of Malawi also know about your medical condition. For instance, I know that you yourself are a very sick manâ€¦.I am reliably informed that you have serious deterioration of your spinal cord and that you have pins inserted in the spinal cord to support your backâ€¦.I am also reliably informed that you have serious diabetes Aâ€™ problem and that you cannot stay very long without eating anything or else you will faint. In fact, I recall that at one of your rallies you actually had to leave the podium quickly to get food and medication in the motor home behind the platform. Your wife prompted me to continue speaking so that people would not know what was happening,â€
Wrote Mutharika: â€œNow Dr. Muluzi, would you really like your medical information to be made available on the Internet and other media? Would you not say publishing such facts would violate your privacy and constitutional rights? If the answer is yes, why then do you fail to realise that you are also violating my constitutional rights?â€
Finally, the obvious or the main purpose of the letter was made clear: â€œAs a Head of State, I have all the options to arrest you and any of the perpetrators of these diabolic lies. This is not a threat but a statement of fact. I am aware that if I take such action you will scream at the top of your voice that the whole thing is politically-motivated. But what you are writing against me is also politically-motivated.â€
On October 31, 2008 Muluzi replied: â€œThe allegations raised in your letter are not only false but concocted lies fabricated for ulterior motives by dubious individuals within the intelligence or your political system. Your Excellency, upon assuming office in May 2004 I did advise you to exercise extreme caution in handling of intelligence information that will be passed on to youâ€¦.â€
â€œYour Excellency, I think time has come when all of us should remember that democracy does not demand blind obedience, unquestioning discipline and acceptance of the status quo but calls upon leaders to appreciate peopleâ€™s right to understand and take active participation in matters affecting themâ€¦These allegations are false and I would advise you stop peddling such allegations because they have the capacity to undermine the credibility of your high officeâ€¦Be rest assured that I personally and the UDF as a party continue to wish you good health.â€
What a year it was!