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Malawi: Opposition not Happy With Mutharika's Accusations

Malawi’s main opposition United Democratic Party (UDF) says President Bingu Wa Mutharika cannot be trusted because of his inconsistencies. Their criticism followed Mutharika’s New Year’s Day message in which he accused opposition parties and the judiciary of causing divisions in the country. Mutharika also called the opposition the worst he has ever seen. He also accused the judiciary of prejudice towards the government.

Sam Mpasu is spokesman for the main opposition (UDF). He said the opposition party is not pleased with President Mutharika’s pronouncement.

“His Christmas message was very reconciliatory and raised a lot of hopes not only within the opposition but throughout the country. But come five days later, it was vintage Mutharika again, confrontational, abusive, accusing everyone else but himself… this time he added onto his lists of enemies for the first time the judiciary,” he said.

Mpasu also blames the President for viewing the situation as a conspiracy.

”He actually accuses the judiciary of colluding with the opposition in order to bring down his government, which we find very astonishing and very strange indeed,” he noted.

Mpasu denied Mutharika’s accusation of a calculated plot by the opposition party to bring down his government. He added that the President has himself to blame for his woes.

“The provision for impeachment is in the constitution, and he took an oath to protect, defend and respect the constitution…and he knows that any President who flouts the constitution, and any President who violates the constitution of this country is subject to impeachment. So all the indictments that were raised were not done out of spite… There is no point in him holding a grudge against the opposition, they were simply doing their jobs,” he said.

Mpasu also denied the popular belief that the opposition UDF has not made any conciliatory gestures towards the President and is out to antagonize him.

“It is rather the opposite. It’s the UDF from the word go that has always wanted to reconcile the differences between him and the UDF. That is long before he even left the UDF. And several times when he invited us for discussions, he aborted the process six times by arresting some of our people, accusing them of treason and so forth,” he said.

Mpasu said the President on numerous occasions arrested opposition UDF members on what he called trumped up charges.

“I was doing account today, and he has arrested sixty-three of us up to now in two and half years on trumped up charges. So we have always tried to reconcile with him and he has always been trying to abort all the attempts to reconcile,” he said.

Mpasu dismissed reports that quoted him of threatening the government.

“I have never threatened anybody, I’m simply stating the fact that in a multiparty democracy, a person gets elected to an office and has its terms of office when they must face elections again… So whoever does anything while in office must remember that one-day they would get out of office and then whatever they do will follow them after. That is not a threat. It’s a simple piece of advice,” he said.