Acting president of opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Peter Mutharika has resigned as head of the Bineth Trust, which was founded by his late brother Bingu wa Mutharika.

His move comes hot on the heels of property inheritance wrangles that have ensued between the children of the late Mutharika and their stepmother, former First Lady Callista Mutharika.

Information sourced at the Registrar’s department in Blantyre shows that Peter tendered his resignation on November 9, 2012 on the grounds of “political exigencies”, meaning he needs to concentrate on politics.

In an interview yesterday, Peter himself confirmed to have resigned from the Trust, but was quick to say that it has nothing to do with the property wrangles only that he wants to put more energy into his political career.

“There is no problem. I am just very busy and have absolutely no time to do two things. It is nothing really; I am just very busy with the party.

“You see what; I live in Lilongwe and Bineth is in Blantyre so it is a bit difficult to do both,” Peter said.

A letter signed by the Trust’s Secretary, Duwa Marien Mutharika, shows that they had a meeting where Peter’s resignation was accepted.

Bineth Trust is the overseer of, among other properties, Casa Blanca Manor at Ndata Farm whose ownership is the subject of controversy between Mutharika’s children and Callista.

An inside source confided in The Daily Times that, among other things discussed at their meeting, trustees of Bineth agreed to amend the constitution so that only blood relations of the late Bingu and his first wife Ethel Zvauya Mutharika be eligible to be trustees.

This means Callista, who, in one of her court affidavits argued that her late husband[Bingu] was in the process of making her a trustee before his sudden death, will not become a trustee since his relationship to Mutharika was by marriage.

Meanwhile, Callista and Mutharika’s children have agreed to settle out of court the ownership wrangle over Casa Blanca Manor, popularly known as Ndata mansion.

The two parties told the High Court last month that they are now in “talking terms”.

The dispute arose from the family’s letter, through Bineth Trust, to Callista in November, demanding her to leave the mansion located at Ndata in Thyolo, within five days. However, Callista, in turn, obtained a court injunction stopping her eviction

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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