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Malawi: Former President Muluzi Gives Conditions

In Malawi, former President Bakili Muluzi has welcomed reconciliation gestures by President Bingu wa Mutharika. But he is urging the President to extend his peace efforts to all Malawians. The former President says Mutharika’s peace overtures would be meaningless if they do not involve all Malawians, including Vice President Cassim Chilumpha.

Sam Mpasu is the spokesman for former President Muluzi. He tells VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey more about Muluzi’s reaction to reconciliation efforts in Malawi.

“He said President Mutharika shouldn’t make the mistake of believing that reconciliation is only with Dr. Bakili Muluzi. Because he is virtually at daggers drawn with almost every sector of society. He is always lashing out at journalists…lashing out at all political parties. And he gave an example of his own Vice President Cassim Chilumpha who was arrested on 28 April, and this is the eighth month without any movement in the courts. If you don’t have evidence, why don’t you abort the case and release him?” Mpasu asked.

Muluzi’s aide says this is not the first time President Mutharika is calling for understanding. He urged the President to back his words with action.

“The funny thing is that this is not the first time that President Mutharika has made his peace overtures. He says one thing and does another. So those of us in the opposition parties are not very surprised he made this call. All we want is for him to act. What is stopping him from working with Muluzi? What is stopping him from giving Muluzi an office? Why is he talking without acting?” he asked.

Sam Mpasu says President Mutharika should not be seen as setting pre-conditions for working with former President Muluzi.

“If he wants to work with Muluzi, why is he putting some pre-conditions? And the question is, it is UDF (United Democratic Front), which put Dr. Mutharika into the presidency. After he left the UDF, why does he want to dictate to the UDF when UDF cannot dictate to his party the DPP?” he asked.

Former President Muluzi says he is not yet ready to retire from active politics as suggested by President Mutharika.

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