Commentators take on Chakwera for backtracking on VP powers – Capital Radio Malawi
23 May, 2024

Commentators take on Chakwera for backtracking on VP powers

Chilima (left) greets Chakwera at the airport in a file photo

Observers are describing as confusing, President Lazarus Chakwera’s latest decision to reinstate delegated powers to his deputy Saulos Chilima.

Chilima is on Friday expected to attend 60th Anniversary of the Union Day of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam after being delegated by his senior, Chakwera.

In June 2022, Chakwera stripped off of Chilima’s delegated powers after the VP was implicated in a high-profile corruption case involving UK based businessman Zuneth Sattar, to allow the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to finalise their investigations.

The 22-month-old decision included the suspension of Malawi Police Service Inspector General, George Kainja and two other officials to allow the ACB smooth court proceedings.

In a televised address on 21 June 2022, Chakwera said; “The best I have decided to do on the Vice President is to withhold from his office any delegated duties while waiting for the bureau to substantiate its allegations against him and to make known its course of action in relation to such.”

Commenting on the latest development, vice chairperson for the Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Michael Kaiyatsa questions Chakwera’s commitment towards fighting corruption based on what he preaches to the citizenry.

“What the President has done is surprising and confusing to Malawians and we demand an explanation from him. The decision will have an impact on how people Trust the President and look at Chilima.

“The case is still in court which means Chilima is still a suspect and for the President to make such a move it raises questions whether he is looking at that and what he tells Malawians publicly,” Kaiyatsa questioned.

Concurring with Kaiyatsa, political and governance commentator Victor Chipofya says; “The President seems to be going back and forth on his own words. Malawians will be left to speculate because the President has not publicly announced about the reversal of the decision just like the case was when he announced the removal of the VP’s powers.

“Considering that the Chilima case is court, then one wonders if this decision undermines the court process.”

Meanwhile, the government is yet to make a fresh stand on the matter, but the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi under Section 89(6) gives the President powers of delegation.

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