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Arthur Peter Mutharika

In May 2014, the country elected president, parliament, and local government in a triple election. The DPP leader, Peter Mutharika [aka APM], a younger brother of deceased former President Bingu wa Mutharika, was elected to serve as president. Banda went into self-imposed exile due to security concerns.

Successive Malawian heads of state have been embroiled in graft and corruption allegations in the aid dependent country. Mutharika was elected in 2014 after his predecessor Joyce Banda was embroiled in the "Cashgate" scandal in which government officials siphoned off millions of dollars of public money.

Peter Mutharika informally served as an adviser to his older brother, President Bingu wa Mutharika, on issues of foreign and domestic policy from the onset of his election campaign until the Presidents death on 5 April 2012. He also held positions as Minister of Justice and later as Minister for Education, Science and Technology. Mutharika also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2012.

Arthur Peter Mutharika was born on 18th July in 1940 in Thyolo District in Malawi. Mutharika shares a birthday with global icon Nelson Mandela among others. He attended Dedza Secondary School and then went on to study law at the University of London and Yale University. He was elected president of Malawi in May 2014.

Peter Mutharika has three children with his late wife Christophine Mutharika, who died in 1990. All three are now prominent lawyers in the USA. He has since married Gertrude Maseko, a former parliamentarian from Balako, in June 2014.

Professor Mutharika is an expert on international economic law, international law, and comparative constitutional law. As a professor, he has taught at University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Haile Selassie University (Ethiopia), Rutgers University (USA), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research Program for Foreign Service Officers from Africa and Asia at Makerere University (Uganda). For 39 years he taught at Washington University, and was latterly the Charles Nagel Professor of International & Comparative Law Emeritus. He has also served as an Academic Visitor at the London School of Economics.

Mutharika has also served as a member of the Panel of Arbitrators and Panel of Conciliators for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes and is a past recipient of the International Jurist Award. He is the author of several books on international law and foreign investment security and has taught or conducted research in Africa, Canada, Europe, and throughout the United States on such issues as political abuses in pre-democratic Malawi, the role of the United Nations in African peace management, and the role of international law in the 21st century from an African perspective.

Peter Mutharika previously served as an elected member of the Malawi Parliament and as the Malawi Cabinet as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. Although he was only elected to the Malawian Parliament in 2009, academic peers say that he remained active behind the scenes in Malawian politics during his academic career in the USA, helping to draught Malawis new constitution in the early 1990s before the transition to multiparty democracy in 1994.

Mutharika became more overtly involved in Malawian politics when his brother, Bingu wa Mutharika, was elected President in 2005. Peter Mutharika was instrumental in forming the new 19-member cabinet after his brothers re-election, and acted as his informal adviser in frequent trips back and forth between Washington and Lilongwe. After returning to Malawi, Mutharika became the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) MP for Thyolo East and served periods in his brothers cabinet as minister for justice, education, and foreign affairs. His time as Minister for Foreign Affairs coincided with a difficult period in Malawis relationship with the international community.

In April 2012, Bingu wa Mutharika died suddenly of a heart attack in Lilongwe. His death threatened to precipitate a full-blown constitutional crisis in Malawi on account of the fact that the Vice President, Joyce Banda, had founded the breakaway Peoples Party while in office in 2011 after refusing to endorse Peter Mutharika as the DPPs candidate for President in the forthcoming 2014 General Election. Mutharika sought to nullify her succession on account of the fact that she was no longer a member of the ruling party. However Banda succeeded in ascending to the Presidency in the wake of Bingus death after both the army and former President Baliki Muluzi supported her succession, preferring to maintain order and uphold the constitution rather than seek to launch a coup.

By the time of Bingu wa Mutharikas death in 2012, most foreign donors had withdrawn direct budgetary support and expressed frustration at Bingus increasingly erratic and incoherent policies. One of Peter Mutharika's objectives as Minister for Foreign Affairs was to repair relations with the UK after the expulsion of the UK High Commissioner in 2011.

Peter Mutharikas actions in the wake of his brothers death led to him being formally charged with treason, as well as additional counts of inciting a mutiny and conspiracy to commit a felony. On his election as President, however, he gained legal immunity from prosecution and the charges have been dropped.

The 2014 Presidential election was the most contested in Malawis history, with the four frontrunners being: President Joyce Banda (incumbent) Peoples Party (PP); Peter Mutharika Democratic Peoples Party (DPP); Reverend Lazarus Chakwera Malawi Congress Party (MCP); and Atupele Muluzi United Democratic Front (UDF). There were also a number of smaller parties that contested the Presidential election. Mutharika won the ballot with 36.4% of the vote. Although there were initial calls for a re-run of the contest from Joyce Banda after reports of rigging, she accepted the result a week later.

Naming his cabinet in June 2014, Mutharika took charge of the defense portfolio himself and kept his campaign promise to appoint a lean cabinet. As of June 2014, he supported diversification of Malawis agriculture into other crops besides tobacco.

Malawi President Peter Mutharika, born in 1940, returned home 15 October 2016 after an extended stay in the United States following the United Nations General Assembly. Mutharikas prolonged absence was shrouded in secrecy, prompting rumors he was hospitalized and perhaps even had died. The government issued a statement that anyone spreading false rumors about the presidents health would be arrested. However, his arrival did not end that speculation.

Mutharika was received with songs by thousands of Malawians who welcomed him at Kamuzu International airport in the capital, Lilongwe. Mutharika, who has long used both of his hands to gesture, came out of the aircraft and waived to the crowd using his left hand only. The president ignited more speculation when he did not to speak to journalists at the airport.





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