The president of Malawi Peter Mutharika will not travel to Zambia to mark the country’s 50th year of being ruled by black people. Instead, former president of Malawi Bakili Muluzi will travel to Zambia for the event.
In the first week of October this year vice-president Guy Scott and minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba told the country that the Malawian president is among the six heads of State and government that had firmly confirmed attendance of Zambia’s golden jubilee independence anniversary, which falls on October 24.
President Mutharika has not given any reasons why he has cancelled the trip but allowed Bakili to travel in his stead.
Just last week, Bakili Muluzi sneaked into State House and held talks with sick President Michael Sata.
Muluzi and his group flew into Zambia using a private jet and parked it at Lusaka International Airport before they were driven to State House.
After the Watchdog exposed his clandestine visit, Muluzi phoned the owner of a local radio station, QFM, and claimed that he flew in to meet first president of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda under the auspices of African Forum of former presidents.
But the Africa Forum, a network of former African Heads of State and Government and other African leaders is not a secretive operation for two former presidents to meet in secret. It is designed to support the implementation of the broad objectives of the African Union (AU) and its initiative, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). When leaders travel on such assignments, it is made public.
When Muluzi himself travelled to Equatorial Guinea on African Forum assignment, his trip was made public and there was nothing secretive about it.
Bakili also questioned the credibility of the Zambian Watchdog for exposing his clandestine visit in Zambia.
Yet, it was Muluzi who was arrested when he left office on charges of stealing $11 million in donor money. It is a pity that the African Union admits anyone who was once president without looking at the credibility of that person while they were in office.
Muluzi was charged him with 87 counts on allegations of siphoning over $11 million of donor money into his private account. He was often sick when the cases where in court but now that he is free, he has miraculously recovered.
The Watchdog believes that Bakili Muluzi is coming to Zambia to continue or finalise whatever deal he is discussing with Sata. It is either to do with fertiliser supplying or roads constructions.
Sata was introduced to Bakili by late president Fredrick Chuliba. It was Bakili who prevailed over the University of Malawi to confer an honorary degree on Chiluba.
Bakili later started funding Sata’s political activities until when Bakili lost power. Bakili’s successor Bingu Muhtarika declared Sata a prohibited immigrant to Malawi.
When Sata became president, he reciprocated by funding Bakili’ son Atupele in his political activities.
But it seems the current president of Malawi Peter Mutharika is trying to bury the past and bring political harmony in that country. Muluzi has benefited by getting back the property that were seized during his trial for theft. His son Atupele has been given a ministerial position and maybe appointed vice-president – if president Peter Mutharika is a fool, to say the least.