Former president Peter Mutharika has asked President Lazarus Chakwera to stop arresting senior members of his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on what he termed “trumped up charges”.
Addressing a news conference at his Nyambadwe residence in Blantyre on Saturday, the DPP president also called on the international community to break their silence and condemn what he called persecution of DPP officials.
He was reacting to the arrests of former Reserve Bank of Malawi governor Dalitso Kabambe and former Finance minister Joseph Mwanamvekha on suspicion that they doctored financial figures that were submitted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Mutharika, who was accompanied by some members of his party, said he did not have any information that while he served as State president, some officials did that, adding that was not possible and he doubted it happened.
Instead, the former president said Chakwera is presiding over “a corrupt and thievery” administration and is systematically silencing any critical voice through arrests.
He bemoaned the economic situation in the country, saying it is bad and Malawians are suffering.
Said the former president: “There is no sense of direction. I ask President Chakwera to show leadership and govern the country.
“There are no drugs in hospitals, no food, fuel prices have gone up and Malawians cannot afford to pay for public transport.”
On the recent case to challenge composition of Malawi Electoral Commission in the Constitutional Court, which would have undermined the June 23 2020 Fresh Presidential Election which the DPP lost to the Tonse Alliance, Mutharika said they were yet to decide whether to appeal or not.
Reminded that the party made its position through its spokesperson Shadric Namalomba, present at the news conference, Namalomba took to the mic and said his statement was misrepresented and he encouraged journalists to always demand a written and signed statement.
Mwanamvekha and Kambambe have been released on bail, but the bail application of DPP Thyolo Central legistrator Ben Phiri, who arrested on Wednesday, failed as he was in hospital.