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Vol 55 No 17

Published 29th August 2014


Malawi

Brother with a difference

Nearly three months into his term of office, the new President promises a radical departure from the practice of his predecessors

President Peter Mutharika has held no mass rallies, travelled abroad just once and spoken in public only five times. Even his own Democratic People's Party (DPP) is perplexed by the change in style, according to a source in State House. Local pundits are cautious about whether or not he really is making a clean break with the past. One told Africa Confidential, 'Given the history of Malawian presidents starting out well before power goes to their heads, we are taking a wait-and-see approach'. After elections most Presidents – including Mutharika's late brother Bingu, who died in office in 2012 – hold rallies across the country, dispensing political patronage and consolidating their support. Instead, as promised, the new President has dismissed many public officials suspected of corruption or incompetence and reduced the cabinet from 32 to 20 members.

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