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Friday, February 10, 2006

President of the Republic of Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika on Thursday fired vice president Cassim Chilumpha from government.

Here is the letter he wrote to the Veep:

The Right Hon. Dr. Cassim Chilumpha, SC,
Office of the Vice President,
P.O. Box 30399,
Capital City,
Lilongwe 3.

Dear Dr Chilumpha,
I write to bring to your attention a matter that has been of great concern to me, my Government and indeed the people of Malawi for a long time. This relates to the fact that since your assumption of office as Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, your relations with me and my government have been less than cordial and satisfactory. More especially, I draw your attention to the following developments:
First, as you are aware, one of the core functions of the Vice President is to deputise for the President. Furthermore, as Vice President, you have been a member of the Cabinet and as such, you were required to attend all Cabinet meetings so that Government could benefit from your contribution towards national policies and programmes. However, since the first meeting held on July 13, 2004, you have attended only 16 out of the 48 Cabinet meetings held. Furthermore, since May 31, 2005 you have been absent from all Cabinet meetings, first through a series of apologies, and later, without any apology at all. Indeed, several Cabinet meetings have had to be adjourned due to your absence when you were supposed to be deputising for me. You have also not been attending any public functions organised by Government or at which, I as State President was invited as Guest of Honour.
Second, I draw your attention to the fact that by the oath of office that you took, it was understood that your primary duty and responsibility as Vice President of the Republic of Malawi was to promote and defend Government policies and programmes and to protect the integrity of Government at all times.
But contrary to established norms and etiquette, you have, instead, always publicly criticised and attacked the same Government of which you are part. In so doing, you have violated your oath of office as well as the principle of collective responsibility of Cabinet. Consequently, you have seriously undermined and damaged the integrity of the Government.
Third, I have noted with dismay, that whenever I assigned you to represent me at some public functions or meetings, either within or outside the country, you did not deputise for me appropriately, in that you failed to report back to me the decisions of the meetings you attended for the necessary follow up by the Government. In that regard, you have violated and abrogated your duties and obligations to, among other things, support and uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi by carrying out the assignments given to you diligently.
Fourth, you will recall that at the time of our inauguration on May 20, 2004, I had decided, and the Malawi nation had given me a nod, to relocate the Presidency from Blantyre to Lilongwe, the Capital City. I had at the same time, given clear instructions that all Government departments and offices should follow suit. This decision was made as one of the prudent fiscal and financial policy measures adopted by our Government to reduce public expenditure and manage our meagre resources.
The people of Malawi are failing to understand that whereas every Cabinet Minister obeyed my instructions, you have chosen to do the contrary. You have instead deliberately disobeyed me and moved from your official house in Lilongwe to live at the Mudi House in Blantyre. In so doing, you have shown insurbordination and arrogance that is not compatible with your office as Vice President.
Fifth, since you assumed office, the Government and people of Malawi have been puzzled that you have constantly attempted to run a parallel government by organising a number of public events and even political rallies without my authorisation or even the courtesy of informing me. Furthermore, you have also undertaken or attempted to undertake, missions outside the country without my knowledge. In that regard, you have again clearly undermined my authority as the State President and brought discordance within the Government.
In the light of the foregoing, I hereby inform you that Cabinet has unanimously decided that you have, on your own volition, not worked in accordance with your mandate as Vice President of our country. Cabinet is therefore obliged to construe that by abandoning your responsibilities, you have accordingly resigned from your position as Vice President of the Republic of Malawi.
I have, therefore, with deep regret, accepted your resignation as Vice President of the Republic of Malawi effective today, February 8, 2006.
Yours truly,

Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika

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