|Prof. Peter Mutharika: Now Giving Cash Hand-outs|
Peter was travelling in a Toyota VX when he noticed, upon reaching Vanmali House, a group of vendors from Blantyre Flee Market waving at him, shouting: 'Boma, Boma, Boma' (Government, government, government).
Peter did not stop and get out of the vehicle; he simply threw a bandle of K50 notes at the group and proceeded with his journey towards Sanjika Road.
The vendors, who numbered close to 30, then started scrambling for the cash. A brief scuffle took place, but leader of the group- who identified himself as Hardware owner Michael Clemence Mangazi- cooled the situation down when he threatened to run with the money if the group members continued scuffling.
"Your noise will attract other people who are not concerned with this; I will take the money home if you continue behaving like children," said Mangazi.
Mangazi told Zachimalawi later that the money amounted to K80, 000, and that the group had agreed not to share the money but use it for a trip to Lilongwe.
"We are (DPP) party members, in the first place, and have been planning to go to Lilongwe and thank President (Bingu wa) Mutharika for his visionary decision to get us out of the streets and force us into the Blantyre Flea Market. Our lives have changed so much, economically," said Mangazi.
He added that the group also wanted to request the president to contruct one more flea market with the Blantyre Central Business District area, saying this would help ease congestion.
When contacted on his mobile phone for a comment, Peter just laughed the matter off.
"There is no news there, my dear brother," said Peter.
He said, with many people declaring their support for his DPP- and, therefore, the country's presidential- candidature, and his mulling over whether to accept the "request" and vie for the same, "a lot is bound to happen; yes, a lot is bound to take place. But I will not make my position clear at the moment; let Malawians speak".
Mutharika the senior (Bingu) has roasted former President Bakili Muluzi on several fora, accusing him of promoting the spirit of dependency among the country's population for his 'hand-out' style of leadership.
Muluzi was famous for distributing stacks of Kwacha during his reign, and the former Head of State and Government used to back his stand on the issue by saying that Malawi was a poor country, and could not afford to leave the poor out.
"I do this to share the little that I have with fellow Malawians," Muluzi used to say.
He is on record to have also said that "If money grew on trees, I would give stacks and stacks of it to all of you, and help you out of poverty".
Observers, however, used to laugh off Muluzi's sentiment on money growing on trees, saying (if it grew on trees, as Muluzi proferred), then everyone would pluck it by themselves!