By Chifundo Phiri
MALAWI President Peter Mtharika today said he will not seek a second term in office but will instead step down to pave way for new blood.
Mtharika, who was addressing thousands of his DPP party supporters at Machinga said it is important to give young people a chance to lead the country.
”I don’t want to be another Robert Mugabe,” he said. “Mugabe has been in power for 37 years and look what he has done to the once Jewel of Africa.We used to go to Harare for shopping and to seek medical attention but look what the old dictator Mugabe has done. I don’t want to be a dictator like Robert Mugabe.”
Furthermore Mtharika said: “At Malawi University, there are about ten lecturers from Zimbabwe and at MBC there are 15 workers from Zimbabwe because Mugabe destroyed their hope. When we are in meetings, be it AU or SADC,the old man will be busy sleeping!
He added: “I will step down and allow the party to choose someone with fresh ideas.DPP should not be like Zanu-PF where one person will dictate everything.We all thought Botswana, President Ian Khama was wrong when he attacked Mugabe.He is correct.Clinging to power is not good for SADC and Africa. Im sorry for the people of Zimbabwe to have a dictator like Robert Mugabe.”
Although this is not the first time Malawi has criticised President Mugabe’s administration, analysts say Mtharika’s no-holds barred manner of doing so had surprised many, given that Zimbabwe and Malawi have had strong ties since colonial times.