As part of Christmas festivities, President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and his wife Monica, on Sunday paid a courtesy call to former president, Professor Peter Mutharika and his wife, Getrude at their Villa Mutharika in Mangochi for seasonal greetings and gifts.
The meeting of the two families has been described as unexpected in the name of democracy and national unity, for the first time after Dr. Lazarus Chakwera emerged winner in the Fresh Presidential Elections [FPE] held in June 2020 by a 58.57 percent majority.
None thought the the two could meet face to face given that Professor Mutharika has been disputing the nullification of the May 2019 elections, arguing that he was thw clear winner in the elections but the courts ambushed his victory to favour the opposition.
On 03 February 2020, the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court in Lilongwe made the landmark ruling nullifying the 2019 presidential elections and decreed that Fresh Presidential Elections to be held within 150 days, declaring Professor Peter Mutharika illegitimate, saying he was elected not meeting the will of the people and majority rule.
In 2014, after winning the presidential hot seat, former President Prof. Peter Mutharika invited all the candidates who contested alongside with him to a meeting of national building. Surprisingly, all turned up, except one, Dr. Chakwera, claiming that the elections were stolen.
One social media commentator, Yamikani Nicholas Kachingwe, has described President Dr. Chakwera as truly God-sent saying the man is democratic and has good relationship qualities, but the DPP page reported that Chakwera met Mutharika for advice amidst a collapsing economy, growing public anger and loss of policy direction, saying the meeting has taken place barely a day after MDF military of0ficers told President Dr. Chakwera to meet Mutharika at his Villa Mutharika.
…..”But, critics have said Chakwera should not be hypocritical, but be genuine and walk the talk. Chakwera has blocked Mutharika’s accounts including the salaries account, although the former president is not found with any crime to answer,’’…..reads the DPP writings on the wall.
Meanwhile, former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi, has congratulated Dr. Chakwera and Prof. Mutharika for this meeting describing the courtesy call by Chakwera to Mutharika as a good gesture, saying he also personally went to the late Ngwazi, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda at his Mudi House in Blantyre after he emerged winner in the first multi–party democratic elections held in 1994.
By Vincent Gunde