Former President Bakili Muluzi who ruled the country for a maximum of ten years from 1994 to 2004 has abandoned his retirement and joined the campaign trail canavassing support for his son Atupele who is runningmate to DPP Presidential candidate Peter Mutharika.
Muluzi senior has started the campaign his home village Kapoloma in Machinga district where he organised a meeting this week.
Muluzi gathered chiefs and villagers at Kapoloma, saying the meeting was meant ” to thank Professor Mutharika for choosing one of our sons as his runningmate”.
A video clip circulating on social media shows Muluzi saying Atupele will become ” President of Malawi” before correcting himself of the ” mistake”.
Muluzi also told the gathering that the “whole” Eastern region has agreed to vote for Mutharika.
However, many people view Muluzi’s decision to join the campaign as a continuation of his cherished desire to rule the country through the back door and also fulfil his vow in 2009 to ‘deflate the tube’ by getting DPP back to UDF, now through his son.
Between 2001 and 2003 Muluzi attempted to prolong his rule through Open and Third term bills.
However, after the attempts became unpopular and the bills were defeated in Parliament, Muluzi handpicked and singehandly campaigned for Bingu Wa Mutharika who after winning dumped UDF and formed DPP, thus relagating UDF to the oppostion.
In 2009 Muluzi tried to run for the presidency primarily to remove Bingu from power but he was stopped by the courts as he was not eligible to run again having served maximum 2 terms.
Atupele announced recently that his father would join him in the campaign after Ramadhan.
However, the announcement received heavy criticism from the public accusing Muluzi of lacking clean hands as he is answering corruption cases in the court amounting to K1.7 billion.
Recently, Vice President Salous Chilima accused Muluzi of corruptly receiving USD 500,000 from tobacco campanies between 2002 and 2003.
Muluzi is widely admired as a champion of democracy and for his jokes during rallies.
He is loathed because of a campign promise he made to buy every Malawian shoes, which of course he jokingly downplayed later that he did not know sizes of all Malawians to buy them shoes.