Mutharika said this in an exclusive interview with Reuters recently. He refuted claims that his administration is oppressive claiming since taking the reign in 2004 there has never been a political prisoner in the country.
Mutharika boasted that Malawi has achieved a lot in terms of economic progress and development during the six years he has been in power. He added this has been made possible courtesy of his collective and consultative approach of his style of leadership something he said missed in both Kamuzu and Muluzi eras.
One thing Ive learned as President is that you are not supposed to be a ruler because the moment you do that it means you dont take advice, you always want everything you say to be done without looking at its repercussion, thats sort of leadership this country has had before me.
Im not a dictator and neither do I dream to become one. You can go and check in all the prisons of Malawi Im proud to say there has never been a political prisoner in my jails, said Mutharika during the interview.
Asked on whether he intends to seek a third term of office Mutharika hastened to deny harbouring such unconstitutional ambitions.
Me seeking third term, absolutely not in fact when my time comes to vacate the state house I shall do so without delaysLet me promise Malawians that Ill retire honourably without becoming a nuisance to the nation, he added.
On his relationship with Muluzi who is his mentor-cum-nemesis, fully charged Mutharika said since 2004 it is the former president who has wanted to rule from the back something the incumbent could not accept.
He said admitted that Muluzi tried to meet him but he refused to grant audience because there was no agenda.
The problem with Muluzi is that he did not want to accept that his time was over he still wanted to rule the countryafter realising that I couldnt accept such nonsense that is when he started calling me names saying Im a tire and he will deflate I said no Im not a tire Im Bingu the president of the republic.if not for that I would have been the happiest person to work with the former president, said Bingu.
On Muluzis recent change of heart as evidenced by the former presidents conceding of defeat during the just ended polls and attending of Mutharikas inauguration ceremony, the Malawi leader said it is up to Muluzi himself to prove to the nation on whether his gesture was genuine or not.
He welcomed Muluzis call for reconciliation but was quick to point out that it should be done as one way of seeking amnesty.
I dont know whether Muluzis recent gesture is genuine or not its up to him to prove to Malawians.Yes I agree with him on calls for reconciliation but let me make it clear that it should not be amnesty because I strongly believe independence of the judiciary so it would be difficult for me to tell the court to drop charges of the former president, added soft spoken Mutharika.
But some political commentators have questioned Mutharikas philosophy by calling himself a leader saying; In a multi part democracy you dont have a leader or ruler but rather you are elected as a peoples representative and you run government on trust of the people. It is also wrong for Mutharika to start castigating Muluzi and UDF because he is a product of Muluzi and he is a product of UDF. If there was corruption he was part of the cancer and if there was dictatorship or bad leadership in UDF he was part of that bad leadership.
I liked what Goodall Gondwe said last week that Muluzi did not take advice on economic issues but Goodall stuck on to his luxurious position preferring to criticise the government he was part of after leaving office. said one political science lecturer at the Chancellor college when asked to comment on Bingus assertions.
Another NGO activist has trashed Bingus comments regarding corruption claiming that the president is not aware of how much damage his Mulhakho wa Alhomwe club is causing to the economic fabric.
The President should remember the famous Chichewa adage which says linda madzi apite uziti ndadala because there is so much fear within this country today and people are not able to speak or say anything bad about this government for fear of reprisals by the tribalized state machinery which is more than ready to pounce on anybody saying something negative about the leadership, said the Lilongwe based activist who has had his life threatened several times.
A long time business man had this to say: Where have some of our friends got the money within five years, theyve bought a lot of property worth millions, they are buying companies, land, houses etc. We will only know of corruption or no corruption when they leave office.
On Muluzis trial a Blantyre-based banker no one is praying for amnesty but everyone expects fair trial and everyone wants to be treated as innocent until proven guilty.
The way the trail of Muluzi is going around lives an impression that the agenda is larger than the case and whether Muluzi was acquitted you will have so humiliated that no amount of compensation would substitute the humiliation and this for the other opposition leaders, concluded the banker.Post published in: Uncategorized