Malawi: Mutharika Leaves Mantle to Chimulirenji As Malawi Acting President

18 September 2019

President Peter Mutharika who has departed the country for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly has left the mantle of command to vice president Everton Chimulurenji now Acting President.

President Mutharika leaves the airport escorted by Malawi Defence Force and Police chiefs as second-in-command Chimulirenji is behind.-Photo by Govati Nyirenda, Mana Vice President Chimulirenji was seen dismissing the military parade at KIA and remains in command as President is away

Mutharika left the country in the hands of Chimulirenji was seen dismissing the military parade mounted by Malawi Defence Force (MDF) at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe. soon after the chartered plane which the President boarded, took off.

Before leaving, Mutharika inspected a guard of honour by the MDF soldiers and answered one question from the state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation at a controlled impromptu press conference at the airport.

Vice-President in Malawi only becomes functional when he is delegated .

Section 79 of the Constitution says a Vice-President is elected alongside the President and "shall assist the President and who shall exercise the powers and functions conferred on the First Vice-President... by this Constitution or by any Act of Parliament and by the President."

Historically, there has been tension between Malawian Presidents and their Vice-Presidents predominantly over issues bordering on succession.

Mutharika is on his last term of office and would not be barred by the Constitution to seek re-election in 2024. And [God forbid], if anything happens now, Chimulirenji automatically becomes the Head of State until the remainder of the term.

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