News / Africa

Malawi VP Dismisses Resignation Demands

Malawi VP Dismisses Resignation Demands
Malawi VP Dismisses Resignation Demands


  • 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.”


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.


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

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs