Assani is very fickle, which is bad attribute for person sitting in the office of Minister of Justice. He is one of those people that keep oscillating between principle and opportunism and who should never be entrusted with the noble responsibility of presiding over the administration of justice.
Why do I say he is fickle?
1. He was the first lawyer that Bakili Muluzi consulted on whether the Constitution allowed him to leave retirement and seek the State Presidency. His straight answer to Muluzi at the time was an emphatic “NO”
But when he felt there was an opportunity to make some quid, he went back to the man who resides on top of BCA Hill and told him that having addressed his “legal” mind and consulted widely the matter was worth a try.
He was later to become the frontman of the legal machinations to have Muluzi retire from retirement.
As he salivated at the juicy carrots that Muluzi had offered, he even had the nerve of making crazy statements like “Muluzi has assembled a strong legal team that consists of 21 lawyers.” Whatever he meant, that’s Assani when he sees a pot of sizzling and sumptuous delicacies.
2. When as Minister of Justice he looked at the pieces of information that the investigations had unearthed in respect of the cash gate, he told his officers he would meet with President Joyce Banda immediately and do three things:
(a) To advise President Joyce Banda to immediately stop parading Paul Mphwiyo as innocent and as a hero in the fight against corruption because such sentiments would backfire on her based on the evidence against the former budget director.
(b) That Paul Mphwiyo should be arrested right on arrival from South Africa where he was receiving treatment following his near killing. He had to be arrested because evidence showed he was the main player in the plunder of resources not only under the Joyce Banda administration, but also during the previous ones.
(c) That President Banda should ensure that this information is not leaked to Paul Mphwiyo, or nothing should be done to alert him to the prospect of his arrest. He did not have to be alerted because government had already learnt that he was planning to escape to the United States of America.
When Assani met the President, everything changed. He was instructed to protect Mphwiyo and everyone who has information on cashgate that can put her and her administration in trouble. For this he was promised a number of favours, including discarding Cassim Chilumpha for him as PP’s parliamentary candidate in Nkhotakota South and being considered for the appointment of running mate.
At once, Assani changed his opinion on Cashgate. His desire to follow the law was gone. All his objectivity vanished. His new task now was to ensure that President Banda is protected, that Mutharika is persecuted and blocked from running. Assani promised Joyce Banda that all her opponents will be eliminated from the electoral equation; that her rule will be perpetuated at whatever cost. Assani strongly believes that after he has achieved this, after May 20 he will be the Vice President of Malawi.
That’s Fahad Assiriyamungu Ullaya Assani, the chameleonic mind; Malawi’s minister of Justice.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Maravi Post editorial policy