Joyce Banda wanted to kill me, Mutharika

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

CAPE TOWN — Malaw­ian leader Peter Mutharika has re­port­edly claimed that for­mer pres­i­dent Joyce Banda and her Peo­ple’s Party (PP) gov­ern­ment wanted to kill him dur­ing the time when he was in the op­po­si­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Malawi24, Mutharika made the claims in New York last week af­ter re­ceiv­ing the African Lead­er­ship Award.

The south­ern African coun­try leader was recog­nised for “ex­cep­tional lead­er­ship” and for “im­pact­ing lives pos­i­tively” by the African Lead­er­ship Magazine Group, re­ports said.

In his ac­cep­tance speech, Mutharika re­counted the chal­lenges he went through to be­come Malawi’s leader, say­ing Banda put his life un­der threat.

“I took over the lead­er­ship to my po­lit­i­cal party soon af­ter the death of my brother Pro­fes­sor Bingu wa Mutharika who mys­te­ri­ously died while serv­ing as the state pres­i­dent of Malawi.

“In the two years we were in op­po­si­tion, I was ear­marked ei­ther for the grave­yard or prison. Ev­ery crim­i­nal accusations was made and ev­ery at­tempt on life was tried,” Mutharika was quoted as say­ing. He said, how­ever, that he would not re­venge. Mutharika has over the past two years com­plained about the per­se­cu­tion he suf­fered when Banda was in power.

Among oth­ers, Mutharika reg­u­larly cites his ar­rest over al­le­ga­tions of plot­ting a coup d’etat as an ex­am­ple of per­se­cu­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, dur­ing the Banda ad­min­istar­tion, Mutharika faced trea­son charges for al­legedly try­ing to pre­vent Banda from as­cend­ing into power.

Many an­a­lysts have said authorities in Malawi use trea­son charges to si­lence those in op­po­si­tion or gov­ern­ment crit­ics.

In Au­gust, Mutharika said that it was only by the grace of God that he man­aged to sur­vive five as­sas­si­na­tion plots in the run up to Malawi’s na­tional elec­tions in 2014.

“When I was cam­paign­ing to lead this coun­try, I was hunted like a crim­i­nal. I sur­vived five as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempts. I am happy that most of you gave me refuge, so­lace and courage. You have been the for­ti­tude of the per­se­cuted as Christ wishes,” he was quoted as say­ing at the time. — AFP

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