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» 20.07.2009 - Malawi's opposition petition thrown out of court
» 22.05.2009 - Malawi president already inaugurated
» 21.05.2009 - Malawi's Muthakira assured of second term
» 20.05.2009 - Malawi oppposition calls for ballot recount
» 14.05.2009 - Malawi's opposition cry foul even before poll starts
» 09.04.2009 - Malawi opposition forms pact against Mutharika
» 08.04.2009 - Muluzi battling 'shame and glory' in courts
» 18.08.2008 - Malawi kicks-off voter registration

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Ex-president condemns Malawian government

afrol News, 25 August - Former Malawian president Bakili Muluzi has condemned president Bingu wa Mutharika for dictating parliament sittings, arguing that he did not have experience for running a government.

Mr Muluzi, who is also chairman of United Democratic Front (UDF) and party's presidential candidate for 2009 polls, said people should forgive Dr Mutharika for his style of leadership.

"I have never seen even during one party state for a president to be dictating parliament sittings," Mr Muluzi, who now regrets handpicking Mutharika to be UDF presidential candidate in 2004 general elections, said.

However, deputy minister of information, John Bande, has denied that president Mutharika was dictating parliament, adding that he duly consulted with speaker on duration of parliament.

"We would like to remind former president that parliament only convenes when president consults with speaker. Business Committee decides proceedings of parliament. Therefore, question of Dr Mutharika dictating parliament does not arise," Mr Bande said.

He noted that parliament proceedings were going on well because there had been consultations between president and speaker, in accordance with constitution.

Mr Muluzi, among other things has also accused Dr Mutharika's government of using state machinery, such as Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and police in particular, to victimise people.

He stated that he and other UDF supporters were on bail on various offences including treason.

ACB is said to be currently finalising its investigations into allegations that Mr Muluzi diverted over K1.4 billion donor money into his personal account.

A hearing began last week, in case in which ACB applied for a vacation of an injunction that Mr Muluzi obtained restraining bureau from questioning him on the K1.4 billion issue.

However, he said yesterday that, "we want ACB to be independent. We don't want him (Dr Mutharika) to use ACB to victimise people."

He has also reportedly urged people to register their names for forthcoming general elections, adding that onus was on Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to register all people.

This time around, UDF national chair that jetted in from United Kingdom yesterday was allowed to use of VIP lounge, unlike on 28 May, when there was heavy police presence at the airport before his arrest for treason charges as soon as he landed.

He, however, was not allowed to use lounge for a press conference because airport personnel reportedly said officials for third Connecting Rural Communities Africa Forum 2008 were also about to arrive and media conference could have inconvenienced them.

UDF Director of Research Mvula said Mr Muluzi was expected to hold a whistle stop tour tomorrow in Lilongwe, with a message that people in capital city should all register and vote for party during forthcoming elections.

The former Malawian leader has also condemned security forces for allegedly for shooting his supporters and shelling teargas on them in fracas that followed his arrest at airport.

His arrest came a week after some senior opposition politicians alongside retired and serving security officers were arrested on allegations that they were plotting to overthrow Dr Mutharika's government.

All those who were arrested on treason charges have since denied allegations and have been released on bail after judge hearing case observed that evidence submitted was weak.

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