Malawi: President Mutharika backs brother’s 2014 bid

Promise Zalakata Kamanga – Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika yesterday declared that he had no problems with his young brother Peter Mutharika’s 2014 presidential bid.

The president’s young brother has been tipped as a possible successor of the ruling DPP and currently the party has been using traditional chiefs through state owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation to campaign for him.

“Peter Mutharika is a Malawian. As a Malawian he is free to contest for any position in this country. Is it a crime to be a President’s brother?” questioned the President.

Mutharika was speaking to journalists in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe on his return from India and South Korea where he went for official business and G20 Summit respectively.

The President said the constitution does not bar any of his relations including his young brother from contesting for public office in the country.

“If chiefs have endorsed Peter Mutharika, what’s your problem? Are you chiefs? Come 2010 Malawians will have a chance of choosing who they want so there is no need for debating this issue,” he reiterated.

The endorsement of President Mutharika’s brother as presidential candidate for 2014 has attracted mixed reactions with others alleging that his candidacy would silence other members within the ruling party that could have wanted to contest.

Peter’s candidacy is also claimed to have brought about divisions in the party with one faction belonging to the president’s young brother and others supporting the country’s vice president Joyce Banda.

President Mutharika, who is currently chairman of the African Union (AU) completes his constitutional two terms in 2014.