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Peter Mutharika fails to return home

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Government is still searching for the right vocabulary to explain to Malawians why President Peter Mutharika has again missed a deadline he gave himself to be back home from the United States of America where he went to attend a United Nations General Assembly (Unga), 24 days ago.

This comes after Minister of Information, Communication and Technology Malison Ndau told the media last week that Mutharika would be back over the past weekend.

In an interview with The Daily Times yesterday, Ndau said he was told by State House that Mutharika had failed to come into the country as earlier indicated.

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“There are no reasons that I have been told from State House as to why the President has failed but he will be in the country early this week. This means that he will not preside over the opening of the Investment Forum in Lilongwe on Monday [today],” Ndau said.

Meanwhile, the Public Affairs Committee (Pac), one of the stakeholders that has been asking the government to address Malawians on Mutharika’s absence, has described the shifting of the goal posts as unfortunate.

“He is our president; citizen number one. He told us he went to the United Nations General Assembly and the event is now long over. Malawians need to know where he is and what he is doing.

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“What are they hiding? This is democracy and government needs to be transparent on the whereabouts of the President and when he is returning home,” Pac Publicity Secretary, Peter Mulomole, said in an interview yesterday.

The silence with which State House and the government machinery have handled the President’s whereabouts has stimulated speculations on the social media that the Head of State may have fallen sick and underwent an operation in the US.

“The rumours are not healthy but let the people speculate. They have the right to speculate when they are not informed properly by the government machinery. It is them [government officials] inviting anarchy on information sharing. The government should not blame anybody for making wild speculations. It is something they have allowed to happen in Malawi,” Mulomole said.

Meanwhile, most members of Mutharika’s delegation, including those in protocol, have returned, heightening speculations that the President is not engaged in official business as protocol team is the one that arranges his meetings. Even Foreign Affairs Minister, Francis Kasaila, returned from the US.

Mutharika left Malawi for the Unga on September 16, 2016.

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