Mutharika surrenders US residence permit

February 7, 2014 • Front Page, National News • Written by :

Mutharika: I decided to abandon and surrender the card voluntarily

Mutharika: I decided to abandon and surrender the card voluntarily

Peter Mutharika, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate in the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, on Thursday succumbed to pressure and surrendered his green card to the United States of America (USA) Embassy in Lilongwe.

Mutharika, who has also resigned as a member of Parliament (MP) for Thyolo East Constituency, says he has surrendered his green card—a permit that allows one to work and reside in the USA—to put the matter to rest.

Mutharika’s presidential candidacy was under scrutiny over his possession of a green card whose status many commentators equated to owing allegiance to the US.

He said: “Although all legal experts I have consulted have advised me that I owe no allegiance to the government of the United States of America and that the green card is not a legal impediment to my candidature, I have decided to abandon and surrender the card voluntarily.”

In a letter dated February 4 this year, Mutharika’s lawyer, Samuel Tembenu wrote to the USA Embassy requesting confirmation on the status of a green card.

Reads Tembenu’s letter in part: “Our client is a holder of a green card. He is also intending to stand as a presidential candidate in the forthcoming general elections. If you have followed the recent debate in the print and electronic media, there has been a divergence of opinion whether he owes allegiance to the USA by reason of being a holder of a green card, it has been suggested by others that holding a green card bars his candidature.”

In response a day later, the Embassy wrote: “The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service [USCIS] administers US immigration matters. A green card [Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card] is issued to permanent residents as proof that they are authorised to live and work in the United States.

“The issuance of a green card does not convey US citizenship or imply the allegiance of the bearer to the United States.”

Political analyst Blessings Chinsinga has described Mutharika’s move as strategic. He said, the move will not only put the green card issue to rest but also give him time to concentrate on his political campaign.

“It is a well placed move, this issue [green card] was becoming common and it would have detracted his attention from the campaign and what he has done was to kill everything,” he said.

Briefing journalists later, Mutharika said Malawians should demand explanation on how the Capital Hill cashgate came into being.

He said: “As a nation, we must deal with the existing hunger situation, breakdown of security which has left us living in constant fear every day and not knowing what will happen to us next day, the coming May 20 elections are crucial because this country faces unprecedented challenges.

“The people must therefore be allowed to choose the leaders they want in a democratic and transparent manner. Unjustified use of the legal system to bar some people from standing as candidates because the government is desperate to retain power beyond May 20 should be rejected by all Malawians,” he said.

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7 Responses to Mutharika surrenders US residence permit

  1. Dalitso Dulani says:

    I am happy that the issue has been solved, we want to see him contesting. I am also very sure that, those people who are trying to bar him are not happy, but i want to let them know that,what God has choosen no one can change that, its for this reason say that Muthalika has all potential to be our president from may 20. Thanks!

  2. M'Malawi Okhumudwa says:

    APM resignation from being an MP has wider impacts. It also affects sitting MPs and the VP as well as other still in public office by 14Feb deadline for nominations implies that all in public office are not eligible to be nominated as presidential or parliamentary candidates. MEC has goofed big time. The only choice is them to shift the deadline for nominations to after 20 March.

  3. chemwali says:

    kkkk, waiziwa malawi, amayesa masewera.

  4. Chalo Nyirenda says:

    Some Malawians were born full of jealousy and hatred for anybody who was born an achiever. The green card issue no matter which law except the medieval law was a straight forward issue but greed and corruption by the so called self acclaimed legal experts and mercenaries brew the matter out of proportion. Surprisingly, the so called legal experts have never had any green card or even any paper to show to the outside world what they are worth. The move by APM is a smart one and shows the stark difference between a genius and a fool. Instead of the so called experts to be in the forefront in guiding Malawians with issues to consider when choosing a good leader they are doing the opposite thus receiving bribes and misguiding the voters to make wrong decisions. This is dangerous as far as democracy is concerned and so too with development.

  5. Mido says:

    Joyce Banda is a cash-gate thief. Both Peter Chinoko and Pika Manondo are not liars. Let’s finish off this woman thief with mob justice on 20th May.

  6. Steve Mtonga says:

    bravo Pierre!Thats maturity.

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