Democratic Progressive Party (DPP member Brown Mpinganjira has called for the constitution to be amended to allow the president fire his vice president and to end problems that usually arise between top two leaders in Malawi.
Speaking on Times TV recently, Mpinganjira said the constitution should be changed to give the president powers to fire and hire a vice president just as it is done with cabinet ministers.
“We need to allow the president to dismiss the vice president so that there is mutual respect between the two. The four presidents we have had in multiparty Malawi have had problems with their vice presidents. All four cannot be bad people. There is something wrong that is structural so let’s correct that from the constitution,” said Mpinganjira.
On the vice president, section 80 subsection 4 of the Malawi Constitution says: “The First Vice-President shall be elected concurrently with the President and the name of a candidate for the First Vice President shall appear on the same ballot paper as the name of the Presidential candidate who nominated him.”
Mpinganjira’s remarks comes at a time President Peter Mutharika and Vice President Saulos Chilima are on bad terms after Chilima dumped the ruling DPP to form the United Transformation Movement.
Chilima who is expected to challenge Mutharika and others for the presidency in the 2019 elections has also been criticizing the Mutharika administration.
A similar situation happened during late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s second term when his deputy Joyce Banda formed the People’s Party after being fired from the DPP. Banda became president following Bingu’s death.
Banda’s relationship with her deputy Khumbo Kachali also turned sour in 2014 after she overlooked him as her running mate in the run up to the 2014 elections.
Malawi’s first president Kamuzu Banda did not have a vice president while his successor Bakili Muluzi had one in Justin Malewezi. They got on well for nine years but in 2004 Malewezi resigned from the ruling United Democratic Front when Muluzi named Bingu as his successor.