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Malawi : Govt Says Muluzi Funded Rebel SPLA

In Malawi, the office of president Bingu Wa Mutharika says it has discovered a document which claims that former president Bakili Muluzi funded the Sudan’s people liberation army (SPLA) while in office. The president’s office says the action contravenes Malawi’s foreign policy, which prohibits meddling in the affairs of a sovereign country. But supporters of Muluzi say the alleged discovery of a document is an attempt to prevent the former president from standing as a presidential candidate for the opposition in the country’s 2009 general elections.

Chikumbutso Mtumodzi is the press secretary of President Bingu Wa Mutharika. He said former President Bakili Muluzi should not stand for the country’s next general elections.

“We are saying that Dr. Bakili Muluzi, the former president of Malawi, should not vie for the presidency for the third term because during his reign he was involved in the funding of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) whose leader was John Garang… all these are contained in a document which has Dr. Bakili Muluzi’s signature and signed in 13th of march 1995,” he said.

Mtumodzi said the alleged document is authentic because it was signed and stamped by the former president.

“The document which is being referred to has the State House’ (that is the Zomba State house) stamp and it was dated. And the document referred to Mr. Katinga who was his special aide to conclude what had been agreed upon. And that assistance was effected by his special aide. So the document is very authentic,” Mtumodzi noted.

He challenged the former president to either deny or confirm the allegation.

“I am challenging Dr. Muluzi and his aides to come out in the open. They have to recant this sad event, but the gist of the matter is that Malawi foreign policy which does not condone interference of the sovereignty of another country, in this case Sudan,” he said.

Mtumodzi insisted that the former president flouted the country’s foreign policy and needs to come clean.

“What we are saying is that Dr. Muluzi flouted Malawian foreign policy, which is supposed to be respect by all. And right now the whole world is fighting for international peace, and Dr. Muluzi flouted that,” he said.

Mtumodzi called on non-governmental societies to persuade the former president to recant his alleged involvement in funding the SPLA.

“We are calling on the international community, the civil society, we are calling on the media and society at large to at least persuade Dr. Muluzi to disassociate himself from this document. Otherwise he should not vie for office because his integrity is questionable. He is a man of low morals because there is no way he could be funding an organization, which is in combat with a sitting government,” he said.