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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid