…Government agrees: APM is only given names of already selected candidates
Malawi President Peter Mutharika has ‘fired’ his Press Secretary, Gerald Viola, a few hours after he had made comments that pinned Mutharika as a ‘puppet’.
In an interview with Times TV, Viola revealed that President Mutharika is not on top of things, saying the president is not even aware of some of the people that have been appointed in key positions. The Press Secretary described arrangement as a mistake.
“The mistake that was made earlier is that some of the appointments were not made by the president. People close to the President decide who should be given positions. Even now, there are people working in government which the President does not even know” explained Viola.
Viola’s revelations prompted questions as to whether President Peter Mutharika is indeed in charge of the country. But a bold Viola used his own appointment to show that Mutharika is not on top of things but rather a mere figurehead.
“I went to State House alone and I will leave alone. The time I was appointed, I also had the mandate to refuse the offer, but I went to State House on my own” Viola told the channel.
Lawmakers could use Viola’s comments to have the president declared incapacitated, deserving impeachment.
Malawi Congress Party leader had previously branded Peter Mutharika a ‘babysitter’. Chakwera said Mutharika was not on top of things as the president ought to be. Likewise, renowned critic Z Allan Ntata also called Mutharika a puppet who takes orders from his personal assistant, Ben Phiri. Ntata said Mutharika was incapable of making own decisions.
Government, through Information Minister, Jappie Mhango, said it was “shocked and disappointed” with the claims that Mr. Viola had made. But while trying to discredit Viola, the statement by government only confirmed that it is other people rather than the president who make the appointments. Only that Mutharika is expected to endorse one of the names made for him.
“Malawi Government wishes to inform all Malawians that it is the State President that makes appointments through a process that involves submission of at least three proposed names to a position complete with Curriculum Vitae (CVs) by the Chief Secretary from which His Excellency makes the appointments after thorough scrutiny of the individuals”.
Viola is the forth Press Secretary to be fired by Mutharika within a year of his presidency. Reports reaching Malawi24 indicate that that Dr. Bright Molande is currently acting as the people who make appointments decide on a name to give to Mutharika for endorsement. So far, Mzati Nkolokosa has been earmarked to replace Viola.