New York – Malawi’s embattled President, Peter Mutharika has been caught pants down in absentia again, after official information revealed that he was “categorically not conducting state business in the United States of America”, several weeks after the leader disappeared from public eye, amid fears he was seriously ill.
Malawi’s first citizen first disappeared from public a few days after attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Confronted with questions over his continued absence, Malawi’s ruling party, the DPP has resorted to a familiar excuse – that President Mutharika was conducting business with the US government and other persons in the country, on behalf of poverty stricken Malawians and further warned to deal with anyone talking about the whereabouts of the president.
“Spreading false rumours about the health of the President is a criminal offense and unless this behaviour stops forthwith, Government will not hesitate to bring to book those responsible for this irresponsible, malicious and damaging rumour-mongering which is clearly aimed at spreading fear and panic among law abiding Malawians,” read part of the Press Release signed by Information Minister Ndau.
Ndau later explained that Mutharika is in good health, saying, “Once again, Government reiterates that the President is enjoying very good and robust health in the USA and that when he concludes the official duties he is currently undertaking which are for the benefit of all Malawians, the Nation will be advised in the next few days regarding the dates he will return home.”
The explanation, largely forwarded by the government spin doctors has come crashing down after investigations by Malawi Punch revealed the statements to be wholly false.
Bilateral discussions and agreements are matter of diplomatic importance, and as such are heavily publicized. It is the same for any official state visits, even extended visits by a foreign head of state.
However, in the case of Peter Mutharika, Malawi’s Head of State has yet to be confirmed by the United States of America as being on an official state visit, nor have the Americans stated that they are conducting bilateral discussions with the Malawi President.
The USA’s Ambassador to Malawi could not be reached for comment, although the official response regarding bilateral matters directed our investigative journalists to the official fact sheet of the United States Department of State.
According to the most recent information offered by the US Department of State, Malawi and the USA last had any form of bilateral talks on March 31, 2016, and those were focused on aid, and drought relief.
To check the official USA FACT SHEET about Malawi, please visit (By clicking the bold and indented words): US Relationship with Malawi – Bureau of African Affairs.
It is therefore categorically stated, given the above facts that Peter Mutharika is not in the USA conducting business on behalf of Malawians, as that version is inconsistent with diplomatic procedures, and the version offered by the US Government.
Since the President disappeared from public eye, some 3 weeks ago, there have been murmurs that he is unwell, or has died. Malawi Punch independently confirmed that the Mr Mutharika was treated for a Urinary Tract Infection at the New York Presbyterian Hospital earlier in the month, before returning after his kidney’s failed.