Malawi was home to a bizarre and long term dictator: Hastings Kamuzu Banda. President Muluzi also tried to build a dictatorship but failed to the change the constitution to extend term limits to allow him to stay in power.
Enter Bingu wa Mutharika
This former World Bank technocrat, credited with turning around Malawian economy, especially agriculture is following in Hastings Banda/Muluzi footsteps. President Bingu wa Mutharika has turned into an intolerant tyrant.
He has banned demonstrations over fuel shortages and warning Malawians not to become “inspired by Egypt”.
Mutharika attemps at building a dynasty
Shockingly, Bingu is grooming his brother Peter, to be the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate for the 2014 polls – as the president ends his second and last term.
Those who have disagreed with his choice have simply expelled from the ruling party – most notably Joyce Banda, Vice President of Malawi.
Joyce Banda was expelled from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party but remains Vice President of the republic.
Bingu compares Vice President Joyce Banda to Lucifer
The increasingly autocratic Bengu explained his actions in a strange quasi-religious phraseology as follows: “When God noted that Lucifer was being big-headed, he did not hesitate to evict him from the heavenly government. I am not the first to fire someone, it started in heaven. So before you start faulting me for being intolerant because I have sacked Joyce Banda from DPP, fault God for sacking Lucifer from heaven.”
Autocratic Bingu turns on newspapers, students and academics
The 77 year would be dictator is now on the rampage. His is censoring newspapers deemed “contrary to public interest”.
He has tear gassed students and dismissed several lecturers at Chancellor College in Zomba for giving “wrong” lectures that had seen a stand-off between academics and the police. A lecturer had compared current fuel and economic malaise in Malawi with the circumstances that led to the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions.
The dictatorial Bingu’s intolerance has now reached global proportions.
Mutharika explains his main financier-donor
He has recently sent the British high commissioner, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet, packing. The High Commissioner had described President Mutharika as a “combative president… autocratic and intolerant of criticism” and that “the governance situation continues to deteriorate in terms of media freedom, freedom of speech and minority rights”.
The UK government retaliated by asking Malawi’s acting high commissioner Flossie Gomile-Chidyaonga to leave her London post.
The UK is Malawi’s main donor, giving up to $153m (£93m) every year.
What next then for this posturing would-be African dictator? Will the belligerent Mutharika lead Malawi into more disastrous consequences? Is Malawi set to join the club of African dictatorships?