"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Muluzi danger for economy
by Rabecca Theu, 23 April 2007 - 11:29:04

President Bingu wa Mutharika on Sunday described the former Head of State, Bakili Muluzi, as a dangerous man who he claimed cunningly plants a spirit of dependency in Malawians so that he (Muluzi) should consequently become life president.
But the United Democratic Front (UDF) described the accusations as “unfortunate”.
Mutharika made the remarks at Ntambanyama ground in Thyolo, his home district, where he addressed a rally.
He said the former president wanted people to be begging from him so that he becomes a life president and consequently the people would be depending on him.
“Bakili Muluzi ndimpandu [is dangerous]. He is a dangerous leader. When he was leader of this country, he told people to stop farming, saying he would provide for their needs.
“He wanted all of us to eat from his hands. He did not change things in 10 years. Can he change [things] today? Watch out! Watch out! He is cheating you,” said the President, attracting cheers from the crowd.
Mutharika accused Muluzi, who is also UDF national chairman, of trying to hold political rallies on the same day as the State President.
“I am not competing with Bakili, he is competing with me. I am ordering the police to allow Muluzi to hold a rally anywhere he wants. Allow him to hold a rally even at places where am holding rallies. This is not campaign time.
“I can’t waste time with Muluzi. I allow you Muluzi to hold rallies even at a distance of one mile away from where I am holding a rally. We will see where people will go,” said Mutharika.
He also accused Muluzi and UDF of trying to build enmity among the current government, Christians and Muslims.
“The UDF has written letters to Arabic countries, accusing me of castigating Muslims. That is cheap politics. I am working with many Muslims. I have Muslim friends and my government has more Muslim ministers than the UDF regime had. So, how am I sidelining Muslims?” questioned Mutharika.
However, UDF’s spokesperson Sam Mpasu said it was unfortunate for the President to speak on matters that do not contribute to political stability in the country.
“It’s very unfortunate, especially when such statements are made by the Head of State. How can government say things without proof? UDF cannot write any Arab country about Muslims. He should provide proof,” said Mpasu, who challenged that Muluzi would not have handed over the presidency to Mutharika if he ever wanted to be life president.
The President, who elevated two traditional leaders—Chimaliro and Nkanda—to senior chief status, also branded tobacco buyers as ‘colonialists’ who are taking advantage of farmers.
“I have been fighting with atsamunda (colonialists) and you know it. Ngati pali ntsamunda wina ati nfwii, mawa akupita (If there is a colonialist who is adamant, he will leave immediately).
“I sent my minister to Brazil and Thailand where the minister witnessed good tobacco prices...They [tobacco buyers] are taking advantage of us...If they are not careful, I will send them back, one by one. Tobacco buyers [should] take me seriously, I am government,” said Mutharika, promising he will be announcing new cotton prices shortly for farmers to benefit from their sweat.
Member of Parliament (MP) for the area where the rally was held, Trifonia Dafter, was missing from the rally when the master of ceremonies asked her to address the people.
The MP went to Parliament on a UDF ticket and she has not joined Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“She has run away,” said the master of ceremonies while laughing, attracting applause from the crowd.
Speaking earlier, DPP secretary-general Hetherwick Ntaba, who is also chief political advisor for the President, announced names of new members that have joined the party.
These include 25 members of the Kamuzu family from Chiwengo Village who, he said, have dumped the Malawi Congress Party (MCP); former president of the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) Eston Kakhome and Tim Mangwazu, former president of the Malawi National Democratic Party (MNDP).

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