Former President Bakili Muluzi has denied media reports that he is virtually advisor to President Joyce Banda, saying he does not aspire to become one and is not looking for a job.
Recently, Muluzi has been seen close to the presidency attending several presidential functions and defending President Banda on some of her policies and actions.
The development has led to increasing speculation in some quarters that he is calling the shots in the government in which his son Atupele is a cabinet minister.
But Muluzi has dismissed the insinuations saying he is not anywhere near being an advisor to Banda. He was commenting on an opinion in the “Out of Turn” column in The Daily Times edition of Thursday last week. The opinion was headlined “Muluzi could never be a presidential advisor”.
“Insinuations carried in the article in The Daily Times of Thursday July 26, 2012 seem to suggest that I am canvassing to become an advisor to the State President Mrs Joyce Banda
“I want to categorically state that I have never asked to be advisor to the President neither do I aspire to be one,” says Muluzi, adding the President already has capable cabinet members and senior civil servants to advise her.
Muluzi further takes on his critics, describing their views as archaic and retrogressive, for suggesting that he is not useful to the country and the world at large just because he is a retired president.
“Your article seems to suggest that since I am retired, therefore I cannot be useful to the country and world at large. That thinking is not only archaic but also retrogressive and not compatible with the modern global politics.
“It is an extremely emotional, subjective and unfair statement to label former presidents [the] late Dr Kamuzu Banda, Dr Bakili Muluzi and the late Professor Bingu wa Mutharika as all bad. Who is good then?” queries Muluzi. Muluzi says it is high time the country emulated advanced democracies such as America which involves former presidents in global politics.
He further says he personally believes that all past presidents, including dead ones, have made positive contributions towards the development of their countries, hence they deserve respect.
He has since indicated that he would continue speaking out whenever necessary since he also holds personal views on various issues affecting the country just like any other Malawian.
The Guest Columnist argues that it would be unfortunate if President Banda was to turn to retired President Muluzi for advice.
The Guest Column article argued in part: “Bakili Muluzi has been there. He has done it. He did some things well and some things badly. But, he is gone. He is history. His works went with him. His faults went with him too.”
The columnist added: “Surely, Madam Banda does not want Muluzi’s faults to show up in her administration’s scorecard. Why would she want to be judged by the excesses and machination that characterised Muluzi’s rule?”