People with interest to move to Malawiâ€™s new ruling Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) should wait for the end of the official mourning period for former president Bingu wa Mutharika, the President has said.
Speaking at a news conference in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, on Tuesday, President Joyce Banda cautioned such politicians to avoid rushing to the media to make their declarations.
Banda was commenting on a litany of declarations of loyalty, defections and pledges of support from the business community and politicians from the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). She said PP has its own procedures of accepting members and not through the media.
“I am aware that given the circumstances, a lot of my fellow politicians are in the process of making personal decisions about their future. My plea is that they can at least wait until we bury our president with dignity,” said Banda, who announced that Mutharika will be buried on April 23 2012.
She said all applicants to join PP need to go through the partyâ€™s secretary general after taking leave of their current party leadership, saying her party is currently observing the mourning period; hence, it cannot host rallies or parties.
“Yesterday, you were calling the Peopleâ€™s Party a briefcase party; today you claim [that it is] the best ever party you want to serve. I say hold on until we finish mourning. There will be time for politics,” said the President, flanked by her party deputy Khumbo Kachali.
Banda said she informed other Heads of State that the tentative burial date for Mutharika will be April 23, as Minister of Health Dr. Jean Kalirani had travelled to South Africa to make arrangements.
“I met Professor Peter Mutharika this morning and we are taking into account the issues the family wants,” said the President.
On reported cases of looting of some State properties, Banda said government is aware of the development and it will not allow anybody to leave the country or loot property that belongs to Malawians.