Muluzi disqualified from Mo award
BY GERALD NAMWAZA
10:06:29 - 24 September 2007
FORMER president Bakili Muluzi has disqualified himself from the Mo Ibrahim governance award following his interest to bounce back into politics after serving the country for 10 years.
The award, launched in October last year, carries a US$5 million prize and targets African heads of state who deliver on security, health, education and economic development to their constituents.
Among those short-listed for the award this year are Muluzi, Joachim Chissano of Mozambique and Daniel arap Moi of Kenya.
“It is [the award] available only to a president who democratically transfers power to his successor and so I doubt if Muluzi, who now wants to bounce back to power, would qualify,” said a UDF politician who is unhappy with Muluzi’s intended comeback.
He said officials from the Ibrahim Mo Foundation were scheduled to come in the country next month to assess the suitability of Muluzi for the award.
But UDF spokesperson Sam Mpasu Sunday said he was not aware of Muluzi’s nomination for the good governance award, but added that all former presidents qualify for the award.
“I don’t know if Muluzi was nominated but what I know is that one does not have to be nominated for the award. It is just automatic if one was a former head of state,” Mpasu said.
But following Muluzi’s interest to come back to power after incumbent President Bingu wa Mutharika ditched the party that sponsored him, analysts doubt if Muluzi stands a chance for the continental award.
Recipients of the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership will get US$500,000 a year in their first 10 years out of office, and US$200,000 a year for the rest of their lives.
The prize will be the world’s most generous award, according to the foundation.