News / Africa

Malawi VP Dismisses Resignation Demands

Malawi VP Dismisses Resignation Demands
Malawi VP Dismisses Resignation Demands

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Joyce Banda, Malawi Vice President

  • Clottey interview with Dr. Heatherwick Ntaba,spokesman for Malawi’s president Bingu Wa Mutharika

Peter Clottey

Malawi’s vice president, Joyce Banda, has rejected demands that she resign from some of her colleagues in the administration as well as senior officials of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

“It is only Malawians who shall remove me from this position,” said Banda. “Even as state vice president of the party [DPP], I didn’t resign; I put up with a lot of torture and abuse because I felt I was obligated to stay, but the party removed me. [Now] I ask the same party to remove me from this job.  I will not leave.”

Ms. Banda has been expelled from the ruling party, but presidential spokesman Heatherwick Ntaba said she should also step down from her post.

“We indeed are indicating,” said Ntaba, “that the most honorable thing for her to do is to move from her office as vice president, because she is busy vigorously attacking the government when she is part of that government…. She is responsible for the rights and wrongs, successes and failures of that government.  Many people in that position [would] quit rather than stay on.”

Ntaba said Ms. Banda has refused to do her job.

“She doesn’t come to Parliament; she doesn’t attend Cabinet meetings. She does absolutely nothing,” said Ntaba. “Yet she demands more funding for her office from the state coffers, when at the same time she is complaining vigorously that the state is overtaxing poor Malawians. She doesn’t hesitate to use those poor taxpayers’ money to maintain her very expensive upkeep.”

Ms. Banda maintains she has a constitutional mandate to serve Malawians, and will not step down until her term expires in 2014.

Cold relations

She said her frosty relations with President Mutharika are a result of a “succession battle” within the ruling party.

“The moment I was inaugurated, the president wanted his brother [Education Minister Peter Mutharika] to run [for president] and take over from him,” said Banda. “When they went to [various sections] of the party and asked [them] to endorse [the president’s brother], a candidate [who] had not been elected, [we] questioned the validity and legality of that. The group that refused was called the parallel structure.”

But presidential spokesman Ntaba denies Mr. Mutharika is imposing his younger brother on the DPP.

“These are stories from supporters of the vice president herself. But, the president has never, never imposed his brother on anyone,” said Ntaba. There are people coming forward who say they prefer the president’s brother. But, as far as the party is officially concern, the party has not made their choice yet.”

Ms. Banda said her convoy was “mysteriously” involved in an accident, shortly after she was expelled from the DPP. She also said security agencies including the police have so far refused to investigate the accident, despite repeated requests.

“We don’t know who owns the car,” said Ms. Banda. “It came from the bush and hit the car that I was supposed to be in, (but) fortunately, I had switched cars. Malawians are still waiting for a (police) report.”

Fallout

This is the second time President Mutharika has broken with his vice president. In 2006, Mr. Mutharika sacked Vice President Cassim Chilumpha after accusing him of attacking the administration and, like Ms. Banda, trying to run a parallel government.

Chilumpha was later arrested on charges of treason after he was accused of conspiring to assassinate President Mutharika and overthrow his administration.

Some in the media say the fallout between President Mutharika and Vice President Banda led to her dismissal from the ruling party. Banda has since formed her own political group, the People's Party (PP), which has yet to be officially registered.

Protests

Critics of the government say they will embark on a mass protest march Wednesday to express what they said is their anger and disgust at President Mutharika’s “marauding tyranny, bad economic policies and [poor] democratic governance.”

But, the government has warned the scheduled protest is illegal. Vice President Banda broke ranks with the administration by supporting the planned demonstration.  She says it’s permitted by the constitution as a means of expressing public displeasure.

“I have appealed to the police to protect people on the road and to maintain peace,” said Ms. Banda.  “And I have appealed to the demonstrators to make sure that they don’t destroy property,” said Ms. Banda.

“They must be able to exercise their rights,” she added, “(but) rights go with responsibility.”

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs