Political scientists and social commentators have branded Malawi President Peter Mutharika as “a blatant liar” who is “desperate” to position himself among national heroes who fought for the country’s independence and against dictatorship.
In his address to Anglicans at Malindi, Mangochi during 120th celebration anniversary of St. Martin’s Hospital, Mutharika claimed Henry Masauko Chipembere recruited the 15 year old Mutharika as a personal assistant and that during the 1959 State of Emergency declared by the colonial administration, Chipembere was arrested alongside his 19 year old ‘assistant’.
The president said while other freedom fighters were rotting in jail where they remained until September 1960, he was lucky to be released a day after his arrest.
Mutharika also claimed that he stayed in touch with Chipembere from 1965 and continued to interact with him in USA while Chipembere was studying for his MA at the University of California as APM was at Yale University.
But political scientists and social commentators in the country have branded President Peter Mutharika as a desperate liar after fact-checking his claims.
“The truth is that President Mutharika cannot claim any presence in Malawi’s political history… Any attempt to make him seem like an ‘independence hero’ will be in vain” political scientist, Wonderful Mkhutche, has pointed out.
Mkhutche has further advised Mutharika to refrain from presenting himself as national hero who fought against the colonial regime.
“Malawi wants a President who can deliver to their needs. The independence heroism, which never was, can never determine the May 2019 elections. I have read enough to conclude that President Mutharika cannot claim any significant involvement in the fight for independence.
“If ever there is someone telling him such, to build his political career on lies and wishes, do the President a favor by being honest with him. He is a man who has worked hard to be where he is. Do not let him be escorted out of politics with insults.”
Renowned writer, Onjezani Kenani, said it is baffling that Chipembere does not mention Mutharika in his autobiography.
“I read Henry Masauko Chipembere’s autobiography last month. He does not mention Peter Mutharika anywhere, not even in the footnotes” he said while drawing the public’s attention to the age Mutharika might have been and the contradiction that sets.
“Peter Mutharika has a JSD from Yale University. That is a big personal achievement. He does not have to tell us lies that at 15 he was Henry Masauko Chipembere’s political assistant. In any case, when APM was 15, Chipembere was a civil servant.
“He served as an Assistant District Commissioner at Domasi then Mangochi then Dedza. APM, in all probability, was a student at secondary school at the time. For him to be Chipembere’s personal assistant, he had to be a civil servant as well. The civil service at the time did not employ minors. Let him use his own achievements instead of riding on the shoulders of a giant” posted Kenani on Facebook.
Mkhutche makes an observation that the claims by Mutharika that he was a personal assistant are nothing news.
“During the funeral of Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe in Rumphi, the one who spoke on behalf of the President referred to the departed chief as the “President’s bestfriend” when actually the President, initially, planned not to attend his ‘bestfriend’s’ funeral.”