Report spells doom for Peter Mutharika


High-level corruption, nepotism and infighting within the ruling clique may cost President Peter Mutharika the 2019 elections, the London-based Africa Confidential – an influential intelligence publication on Africa says in its latest report.

Africa Confidential has been a leading source of intelligence and insights on African countries since the 1960s. In 2012, the publication predicted the victory of John Dramani Mahama who served as Ghana’s president from 2012 to 2016.

In a report this month on Malawi titled ‘Mutharika’s Uncertain Future’, African Confidential says the keeping of sacked Agriculture minister George Chaponda as the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president despite facing corruption charges for his role in the maize deal with Zambia and the appointment of Greselder Jeffrey as DPP secretary general are some of the issues that have contributed to the waning of Mutharika’s popularity


Jeffrey had a corruption case 10 years ago but she is currently in court demanding that she be paid K12 billion for wrongful arrest.

“Blantyre was the DPP’s stronghold in the Southern Region, and where Mutharika polled best of all in the 2014 election. No longer. His reputation for corruption, nepotism and as a Lhomwe supremacist has taken hold.

“He recently appointed his nephew Dalitso Kabambe as Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi…” the report claims.


However, in an interview earlier this year, Kabambe denied that he is a nephew to the President.

Nicholas Dausi, government spokesperson and Minister of Information, Wednesday described the Africa Confindential analysis as baseless and unfair

“First and foremost, to say that there is nepotism is unfair because the President appoints on merit…on the maintaining of Hon Chaponda as vice president of the party, I mean, they should know that everyone is innocent until proven guilty as demanded by the rule of law,” Dausi said

He tore apart the report, saying that it is not true that there is infighting within the party.

“The party is stable, there is no need to fight amongst ourselves, these are lies of detractors.”

Meanwhile, as Mutharika is trying to resolve the party’s internal conflicts, address rising corruption within his ranks, opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), according to the report, is gaining momentum.

Opinion polls researchers, including Afrobarometer, an African led non-partisan research network, released early this year said that MCP’s Chakwera would carry the day if elections were held then. Before the 2014 tripartite elections , Afrobarometer predicted correctly that Peter Mutharika would defeat the then incumbent Joyce Banda at the polls.

MCP president Lazarus Chakwera was confident when asked yesterday about the chances of forming the next government come 2019.

“We do appreciate the momentum we are gaining in the South because we have not had such kind of morale in a long time and we hope this will translate into a win in the by-election next week,” Chakwera said.

He, however, said that, in the event that they lose, they will seek to learn from that and move on to improve where they can.

Chancellor College political analyst, Mustapha Hussein said that there are other factors that may determine an election.

He said that the Nsanje Lalanje by-election would be a litmus test for both MCP and the ruling DPP. It would, he said, confirm that the Africa Confidential observations are true if DPP loses and also reveal that there are other underlying factors such as regionalism, ethnicity that decide an election other than corruption and other issues cited.

“If the MCP wins in Nsanje, it would have a significant impact because it would mean that they have gained a foothold in the Southern Region which has never happened in a long time and it would also confirm the Sidik Mia [who was recruited into the party two months ago] factor in MCP,” he said.

Mutharika won the 2014 elections by 36.4 percent of votes to unseat Joyce Banda, who also had to deal with leadership fights with her party as well as rampant corruption dubbed Cashgate.

The report says several members in Mutharika’s Cabinet are being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, “which is bad news for him with elections two years away.”

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