By Sandra Birungi
The president of Malawi, Joyce Banda ordered for the arrest of eleven ex-ministers including the brother of the late Bingu wa Mutharika for a failed coup.
Reports were released which indicated that the late president, Mutharika died before he was announced dead. His name was changed to Daniel Phiri to take him from South Africa and taken to Kamuzu Central hospital where he was later on announced dead.
President Banda says they did so to prevent her from taking over power as was per the constitution. “They are likely to be charged with treason,” a senior police officer who did not want to identified said. Among those arrested was former foreign affairs minister, Peter Mutharika – the brother of the late leader and his heir apparent.
“He has been arrested and is on his way to Lilongwe,” regional police commissioner Paul Kanyama said. Others arrested included the former ministers for local government, information, finance and sports as well as top civil servants. “It’s not political. It’s not about Joyce Banda,” said current Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu.
Six ministers, including then local government minister Henry Mussa, held a late-night news conference a day after Mutharika’s death to insist he was still alive. They wanted Peter to be the next president despite Banda being the next in line being the Vice President as the constitution said.