Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has said he is at liberty to use his majority power in Parliament to change the Constitution to extend his tenure of office beyond 2014.
But he has argued that as a democrat, he will not explore that option, but leave for home when his term of office expires.
Speaking during commemoration prayers for the Reverend John ChilembweÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 1915 uprising at Providence Industrial Mission (PIM) headquarters in Chiradzulu on Sunday, Mutharika said he has decided to respect the Constitution by leaving office in 2014 and settle at his Ndata Farm in Thyolo.
The President also reiterated that opposition political parties are busy creating an impression that he has failed to run government.
“Some of you are saying Bingu has failed to run the government, have I failed to run government? All these developments, have I failed? All these roads, have I failed? They are the ones who have failed because most of them are not honest,” said Mutharika.
He argued the opposition criticises everything his government does without offering constructive advice.
The President also said the opposition deliberately twisted his Christmas message that Satan has rode on MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s back. He said he did not mean that the Devil is responsible for the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s problems.
Said the President: “I did not mean that Satan has brought all these problems. I also did not say that the opposition [is] responsible for the problems we have in the country. All the countries in the world face problems and even the Israelites faced problems, but I am not saying our problems are small.
“All I am saying is that we have put our desires, especially money in front of everything. If we can come and work together, we will be able to make progress in developing this country. Let us all put our country ahead of everything like the way the Rev John Chilembwe did.”
Although Mutharika boasts of having a majority in Parliament, there is a lot of uncertainty in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) with some MPs leaving the grouping while others vowed to fight from within.
Our sister paper the Weekend Nation reported this week that a pressure group has emerged in the ruling party to fight for good governance from within and restore support from the electorate in the run-up to the 2014 elections.
The group has already piled pressure on Mutharika, faulting him for the battered image of DPP, saying things have turned worse because the President does not listen to other people.
Among those who have left the party to join other political groups are Khumbo Kachali, Anita Kalinde, Grace Maseko and Jennifer Chilunga who have joined the PeopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Party while Henry Phoya recently joined MCP after being expelled from DPP..
When Mutharika recently made a similar call to work with opposition parties, MCP president and leader of opposition John Tembo and former president Bakili Muluzi said they could not take seriously an invitation made at a political podium.
The Reverend Macford Chipuliko, president of PIM Church in Malawi, thanked Mutharika for gracing the occasion