State President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika has dispelled social media reports that he has been sick and underwent an operation in the United States of America-USA saying he is very healthy and cannot hand over power to anyone until his term is over.
He however said he has for a longtime been having rheumatism problems on his right arm, that prevented him from using the hand to greet or wave at people on his return from the United Nations General Assembly-UNGA 2016.
The President has come under attack for failing to use his right hand last Sunday on arrival from the UNGA, as some members of the opposition claimed he was partially paralysed while others said he had suffered a stroke.
But speaking when he briefed the media on his engagements at the UNGA in the US, President Mutharika said he is very fine and not dying anytime soon.
“I am in very good health, save for ‘nyamakazi’ rheumatism on my right shoulder which has been troubling me for some time,” he said.
“While in the USA, I had a one-day operation on the arm, and I was still recuperating the time I jetted into the country so the doctor advised that I shouldn’t use the hand until it heals,” he added.
The Malawi leader advised people in the country to learn to respect the office of the Presidency inspite of who is occupying it, saying what has been said about his health is a sign that the country does not have respect towards its leaders.
“It is a pathetic tendency by some people and media houses, to always wish me sick or dead. Let’s learn to respect our leaders.”
He said if he were sick, he saw no need to hide it.
On a lighter note to prove his fitness, the President joked that he will be inviting boxer Isaac Chilemba to a 12-round bout, to show that he is fit as fiddle.
And on the charge that his communications team in government failed to inform the nation, a confident Mutharika answered back saying:
”Don’t blame anyone, blame me. I didn’t give them the information of who I was meeting. So don’t blame anyone, blame me.’
Journalists at the event were accorded all the time to exhaust all questions and it even took the State President to extend the question time by an additional 30 minutes