Malawi president Bingu Wa Mutharika says he is ready to work with his predecessor Bakili Muluzi to better the lives of all Malawians. He said his relationship with Muluzi is cordial, which contrasts with popular belief that the relationship has been strained. Mutharika then singled out the spokesman of the opposition united democratic front party, Sam Mpasu, as the one who is fueling differences between the two leaders. Chikumbutso Mtumodzi is press secretary of Mutharika.
He tells spoke with VOA English to Africa Peter Clottey about Mutharika’s zeal to work with Muluzi.
“The position of the president of the republic of Malawi, Dr. Bingu Wa Mutharika has always been that he will like to work closely with his predecessor and accord him all the attention and respect he deserves. So what he said is part and parcel of his philosophy and principle,” he said.
Mtumodzi denies there is tension between Mutharika and his predecessor, Muluzi.
“For your information, there has never been tension in Malawi. And for the common man who forms the majority of the people of Malawi have got nothing to do with that. They are actually happy in the field... and as a matter of fact, everyone is celebrating the attainment of the HIPC (Highly Indebted And Poor Countries) completion point. So there is nothing like tension whatsoever,” he noted.
Mtumodzi says the ball is the former president’s court to reciprocate Mutharika’s gestures.
“It’s up to the other side to reciprocate. Its up to the other side to respond accordingly, its up to the other side to conform to such type of philosophy… People know that Mutharika is a man who believes in peace, who means in resolving problems at the same time steadfast and interest in focusing on national development and of course economic empowerment,” Mtumodzi said.
Meanwhile, vice president Cassim Chilumpha who is under house arrest is reported to have written to president Bingu Wa Mutharika seeking permission to leave the house and join his fellow Muslims in prayers to cerebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr today Monday.
Let us know what you think of this report and other stories on our website. Send your views to AFRICA@VOANEWS.COM, and include your phone number. Or, call us here in Washington, DC at (202) 205-9942. After you hear the VOA identification, press 30 to leave a message. We want to hear what you have to say!