President Mutharika should be tired of the problems on the ground, not foreign donors

MZUZU (Tito Lungu, Malawi NewsNow) – President Peter Mutharika has accused the West on Thursday of seeking to provoke regime change after diplomats demanded  justice on revelations that President Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were beneficiaries of a dirty deal of food rations at the Malawi Police Service.

The European Union (EU) and the United States (US) in Malawi have said they expect that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) will pursue investigations in relation the kicks backs received by Mutharika.

But speaking in the northern city of Mzuzu where he is to celebrate 54 years of independence on Friday, the 79-year old leader accused the West of using non-governmental bodies and opposition political parties to try and bring him down.

“Don’t interfere in the politics of this country…You are guests of this country, you are not citizens,” a visibly annoyed Mutharika said.

He said the western-funded NGOs are threatening peace of the nation.

“I will not allow that in as long as I am alive this country to be neo-colonized,” he said.

President was apparently responding to the comments made by the EU Ambassador Marchel Germann and US Ambassador Virginia Palmer on the leaked ACB investigation report which showed that DPP received K145 million from a supplier through a Standard Bank account whose sole signatory is Mutharika.

State House has confirmed the transaction and the account, but said there was nothing sinister as it was a donation from a well-wisher.

Palmer said deals that benefit political insiders rob Malawian children of their future.

The two diplomats called for an independent probe into the fraud at the Malawi Police Service in which Mutharika is being implicated.

The graft-busting body suspects that Pioneer Investments fraudulently supplied food rations to MPS where the bill was inflated from the actual contract price of K2.327 billion to K2.8 billion.

Civil action groups called for Mutharika to resign within 14 days.

“The information we have been getting is very clear that the president benefitted from that [fraudulent] transaction,” Gift Trapence of the Civil Service Organisations action group said.

“If he does not resign after 14 days, we will take to the streets.”

ACB director Reyneck Matemba confirmed it was probing the contract over police food but declined to give further details.

“We are about to conclude our investigations,” he said.

In April, thousands of Malawians took part in the country’s first nationwide anti-government demonstrations since 2011.

The marches, organised by civil action groups, were against alleged corruption and poor governance under Mutharika.

The Presudent’s brother, late President  Bingu wa Mutharika when he was in power told foreign donors to “go to hell”, accusing them of plotting with local groups to topple his government.

At that time, the incumbent was Minister in his Cabinet where he served as Foreign Minister at some point.