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Malawi Ex-President Blames Mutharika Over Party Troubles

Malawi’s former President Bakili Muluzi is blaming President Bingu Wa Mutharika for fermenting trouble which he says aims to destabilize his opposition United Democratic Movement Party (UDF). Muluzi, who is also the chairman of the party, questioned why his party has come under intense media scrutiny after he announced plans of representing the UDF in next year’s general elections. He blames President Mutharika for sponsoring the negative publicity the party has come under in recent times. But the government dismissed Muluzi’s accusations as baseless and should be treated with contempt.

Noel Mbowela is a Malawi political science professor with the University of Mzuzu. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that the former president’s accusation is unwarranted.

“When Muluzi was holding a press conference, he made that allegation to say almost all the newspapers in the country are just full of stories attacking the UDF. So he thinks and believes this is an outright propaganda orchestrated by the ruling party, especially, the President, Bingu Wa Mutharika,” Mbowela noted.

He said Muluzi’s announcement of representing the opposition UDF party in next year’s general elections is generating controversy.

“What we should understand and know is that the comeback campaign, which Muluzi launched, is newsworthy on its own. So, each and every media house is trying to follow what Muluzi is doing or the UDF party is doing. So, to allege that this is something that is being engineered by the ruling party or the incumbent president is not necessarily correct,” he said.

Mbowela reckons that the former president does not want to face the consequences of his decision to represent the UDF in next year’s elections.

“Exactly, I think he wants to run away from reality because of late, we’ve noticed that the former president himself has got a team of supporters, which is trying to block some other aspirants from contesting at the convention whereby they can also be elected as presidential candidates of the UDF,” Mbowela pointed out.

He said a group of men claiming to be a taskforce of the UDF seems to be causing instability in the UDF party.

“Honestly, it’s not good for internal democracy in the party (UDF). I am saying this because this taskforce, I think rushed to be a separate group all together. They went to the media and a name all of a sudden, so it is like they also rushed to attack their fellow politicians in the party, without exhausting all the means of consultations and ironing out their problems,” he said.

Mbowela said the culture Malawi politics needs to change for the better.

“Indeed, this is the biggest problem with Malawian politics. It’s like we have developed a culture, whereby you cannot challenge your leader within an inner setting. So. It’s a question of really people fearing to use some provisions in the constitution, which are very correct and would indeed take our democracy to the right direction,” Mbowela noted.