•••We see attempts to boycott the meeting–Government
Former President and opposition Democratic Progressive Party-DPP leader, Peter Mutharika is demanding a ‘neutral venue’ for President Lazarus Chakwera’s meeting with the country’s former leaders over Tropical Cyclone Freddy on Thursday.
Through his spokesperson, Shadric Namalomba, Mutharika adds he is yet to receive an official invitation to the meeting. But he stresses it must be somewhere outside the Sanjika Palace.
“We would love the venue of the meeting to be at his office not residence, somewhere neutral. And also the we need to exactly know the agenda,” says Namalomba in a written response.
Sunday evening, President Chakwera indicated he had personally invited the former presidents to discuss the cyclone which has claimed over 500 lives and left at least 450 thousand others desperate and homeless.
But Information Minister and government spokesperson, Moses Kunkuyu thinks Mutharika is just attempting to bring excuses to shun the meeting he describes as so important amid the current crisis.
Argues Kunkuyu: “The president meets several delegates, both from within and outside the country at Sanjika Palace. It’s an official place too. More over, it is a meeting of brothers and sisters who want to discuss a crisis. Anything wrong with that?”
He adds Mutharika has always avoided public gatherings where the incumbent president and other former heads of state are in attendance. He cites the Chiwanja Cha Ayao cultural ceremony last year where he was represented by DPP’s senior member, Dr. George Chaponda.
Commenting on the matter, social and political commentator, Humphrey Mvula finds no sense in Mutharika’s demands. He thinks Mutharika is still leaving in denial that he lost the presidency.