Home Affairs Minister Uladi Mussa says he will not apologise to United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi for allegedly making defamatory statements as demanded by the latter.Muluzi wrote the minister through his lawyers giving him a five-day ultimatum to either issue a formal apology or risk a lawsuit after he had called Muluzi too young to rule the country.
.But speaking in an interview following the lapse of the five day period, Mussa, who has come under strong criticism from civil society groups and opposition members for his personal attacks on government critics, said he was not ready to apologise to Muluzi.
“I have received a letter from Atupele’s lawyer Jai Banda asking me to apologise to his client for sentiments I allegedly made on Zodiak Broadcasting Station. I would not because this is part of politics. As a seasoned politician Atupele should know that people are bound to discuss him; so how many people will he sue before 2014?” said Mussa.
He said he was yet to consult his lawyers on the way forward; saying he was too busy campaigning for the ruling party to concentrate on the lawsuit threat.”We will see if he will indeed sue me but right now I am too busy and some of the things contained in the letter are strange to me as I never said them,” added Mussa.
In the letter to Mussa, Muluzi’s lawyers demanded in part: “Please be advised that should we have to take this route, we will claim costs of the proceedings, which you will be condemned to settle.”The letter further states that Mussa called Atupele a liar on his age and contends that the statement has lowered Atupele in the estimation of right thinking members of the society.
Some NGOs and activists among them Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) have condemned Mussa’s brand of politics.”We take this opportunity to remind the PP that time to use castigation of political opponents to gain political mileage is over as Malawians are now interested on real policy issues. Malawians are interested to know how and when poverty will end and have their welfare improve. Malawians need well stoked and staffed hospitals,” CHRR warned recently