Muluzi sick again, blames illness on politics

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Former president Bakili Muluzi has blamed his deteriorating health on the “hostile” political environment during the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime, which he said was aggravating his ailment.

Muluzi was speaking in Blantyre on Saturday during the 2012 Islamic Concern Iftaran evening meal when Muslims break their fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

After thanking his fellow Muslims for cheering him up when he was ill during the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s reign, Muluzi said continuous trials and arrests were exacerbating his illness.

“Almost all of us here [on the high table] were arrested on various trumped up charges. When we are here on earth, let’s care for other people’s lives,” said Muluzi, amid applause from the gathering.

He expressed concerns that after successfully introducing multiparty democracy in the country in 1992, the country was going back to dictatorial tendencies.

“That’s why I say God was very kind to us for flying that regime on a speedy Concord [plane],” said Muluzi, referring to the fall of the DPP led government following the sudden death Wa Mutharika on April 5 this year.

On Thursday when he was returning from South Africa, Muluzi told journalists that his persistent appearances in public events did not guarantee that he was healed and described his health problem as “mechanical”, which did not demand that he be bedridden.

Muluzi is answering charges of diverting K1.7 billion public funds into his personal account, a case which has seen adjournments to allow him to go South Africa for medical checkup on his back problem.

During his latest medical checkup, Muluzi returned from his trip in South Africa to cheer up his son Atupele, who is now cabinet minister, when he was arrested during the previous regime in February this year.

Since then he has not yet gone back to resume the medical treatment. He has, however, been in public glare attending government functions and even taking foreign trips on duty.

Meanwhile, his case has reached a deadlock following Director of Public Prosecution Bruno Kalemba’s insistence to reconstitute the prosecution team at the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) though the bureau’s David Nyamirandu said he was comfortable to proceed with the matter.

The reconstitution follows government’s decision to fire ACB director Alex Nampota who was heading the prosecution team against Muluzi.

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