By Alfred Mthandizi
On Friday this week Malawi media carried stories that Callista Mutharika an in law to the current President says Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima is the only suitable candidate in 2019 polls. Malawians were very surprised with that.
Below is the interview which Mutharika carried with Zodiak Radio Station.
ZBS: You’re saying the president is surrounded by beasts of prey, are these at State House or in the Democratic Progressive Party?
Callista Mutharika (CM): They are everywhere, at State House, in the DPP, everywhere. That’s what has made him change. This man was never like this – he was a good man.
ZBS: Because of the stance you have taken, some in the DPP are saying maybe you have family issues you are itching to resolve, that you have no position in the rank and file of the DPP, which you’re simply trying to settle personal scores. What would you say to that?
CM: But what’s your personal take on that? Who created the DPP? The late Bingu Wa Mutharika and some of his colleagues. When the party was being created, what was I? A Member of Parliament, a United Democratic Front MP, part of the block that moved at once to be part of the founding of the DPP. Between me and the person who is saying all those things, who could have a more solid say on DPP matters? And she, the one doing the talking, what’s her past? Isn’t her name associated with the theft of public funds? Wasn’t she associated with allegations of the theft of K187 million? Isn’t she the type that’s hell bent on corrupting the mind of our leader? It’s time Malawians began asking themselves tough questions: who is this person saying all these things? What is her past? Isn’t past prologue? Isn’t she in this to simply enrich herself and destroy the economy of our nation? Malawians need to be asking themselves such questions. Out there, lots of people would like to progress. As a nation, we need to help those who seek progress. We must not waste our energies on thieves like these. People are tired of poverty.
ZBS: We’re hearing it through the grapevine names being floated, the likes of Gertrude Mutharika, Ben Phiri, as potential names to take over the DPP mantle. Have you heard anything of that sort?
CM: That would be an insult. I have never heard about that, but, if true, that would be a gratuitous insult. Malawians are not stupid. What is your personal take on that? Do you think the people you are mentioning can rule a country? I mean, can they govern? Can they steer the ship in the right direction? Can the poor be uplifted from the doldrums of poverty? Some people think it is easy to take advantage of the low literacy rate in our rural areas, so they just wake up and say ‘I can be president.’ It’s not that easy. Let me make a plea to the people in our rural areas: when you hear so-and-so plans to contest as president, ask carefully: what kind of education has he or she had? What are his or her plans? Aren’t these the very same thieves plundering government entities? They need to ask themselves those questions.
ZBS: Let’s focus on these two specific individuals: what wrong have they done for them not to be eligible to run for president?
CM: I have no intention to speak further on specific individuals, but just do your research and look carefully into their personal stories. I will not say anything more than that. Find out what people out there say about those two individuals.
ZBS: Any last word?
CM: My last words are: We Malawians are engulfed by too much fear. Why is that so? God protects us. Let us learn to speak the truth, to stand for what is right. In addition, let us not deceive the masses in rural areas, to whom we go masquerading as philanthropists, yet these so-called philanthropists are thieves, stealing from your government, stealing from public entities . . . my plea to those stealing is please, stop that. People are suffering in rural areas. You are stealing money that could have assisted the poor. Those are my last words.
ZBS: Don’t you think you are putting your life at risk by speaking so boldly?
CM: (Laughs) I am 59 years old, and will be 60 next year. All my children are now adults. I don’t care whatever schemes they come up with – even if they killed me today I wouldn’t give a damn. I’m ready to go, because everyone will die someday. Nobody will live forever. If they want to kill me, let them. If they want to harm me, let them, I don’t care. Maybe if I had a small child in school, aged five, six or seven years old, maybe I would have been worried, but all my children are grown now, and all that remains is praying to God in the hope of going to paradise. That’s all that remains.