MP Welani Chilenga Proposes Age Limit Bill to Bar Peter Mutharika

By Twink Jones Gadama

In a surprising turn of events at the Malawian Parliament, Member of Parliament for Chitipa South, Welani Chilenga, has given notice under Standing Order 74 of his intention to move a motion that could potentially reshape the political landscape of the country. The motion aims to introduce a private member’s bill that would establish a maximum age limit for individuals seeking nomination into key government positions.

The proposed bill seeks to amend Section 80 6(b) for the presidency and Section 51(1) for members of parliament in the constitution, restricting older individuals from holding office as State President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, or as members of parliament. This move is justified by the argument that these positions require energetic and active individuals to effectively lead the country and drive meaningful productivity.

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This development follows a series of events involving expelled Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) former presidential advisor Kondwani George Malemia Nankhumwa, who initially intended to table a similar bill in parliament but withdrew during a business committee meeting. Recent rumors on social media suggested that Nankhumwa was planning to reintroduce the bill as a private member’s bill, which he denied, attributing the reports to false information spread by DPP members.

Interestingly, Welani Chilenga’s connection to Nankhumwa dates back to their time in the DPP when both were expelled from the party. Their shared objective now appears to be centered on preventing DPP President Peter Mutharika, who is over 80 years old, from running for president again. Malawians have expressed discontent with the current government under Lazarus Chakwera, accusing it of mismanagement and financial impropriety, leading to widespread suffering among the population.

Chilenga and Nankhumwa’s efforts to impose an age limit seem to align with a broader sentiment among some Malawians who view Mutharika as their only hope for change. The political maneuvering and tensions surrounding this motion signal a critical juncture in Malawi’s political landscape, with implications that could significantly impact the upcoming elections and the future direction of the country.