By Jameson Chauluka
Former President Peter Mutharika says he will leave it to the court to determine if there was a winner in last year’s fresh presidential election or not following the firing of two Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) commissioners Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga.
Mutharika was speaking when he addressed the media at his house in Mangochi yesterday. He wondered if there was a winner when the referee in the election had people who are said to be have been illegally appointed.
“What I am saying is that the court ruled that I was not duly elected in 2019. Now looking at what has happened [the firing of Kunje and Mathanga on the basis of pre2023 elections decisions], I am saying the same courts will decide if there was a winner. But I don’t want to be back [to the State House]. I am as happy as I was in the university [as a professor],” he said.
Speaking after the briefing, DPP’s Director of Legal Affairs Charles Mhango said the party is contemplating seeking court’s interpretation of what has happened to the commissioners in relation to the legality of last year’s fresh presidential election.
Mutharika also expressed concern with what he called economic and political persecution of the party’s officials. He specifically named the freezing of his accounts as a way of trying to stop him from supporting the DPP financially.
Mutharika said the persecution of former presidents must stop, saying it does not happen anywhere in the world.
“A sitting President today will be a former president one day. This tendency of persecuting former presidents does not happen in Kenya, in Tanzania, in Zambia. It does not happen. It is only here in Malawi and I want this to end,” he said.
Mutharika also said although his accounts remain frozen, he is able to fend for himself and is finishing his house from the savings he made while in the United States of America.
“I have been supporting this party for 9 years from my resources; these people know. I worked for 40 years as a law professor in the United States and law professors are highly paid there. I had a house twice the size of this house in the second most expensive county there,” he said.
On the future of the DPP, Mutharika said the functional review will finalise its operations soon and that a convention will be held.
On the freezing of his accounts, government says it has nothing with persecution as Mutharika puts it.
Meanwhile, Minister of Information Gospel Kazako has responded: “He and his party lost an election against us when his bank accounts were fully operational. His failure to support his party or ability to support his party don’t attract any interest from us. It is the law that is dealing with the issue of his accounts, not us. In this country we have laws.”