Malawian President Peter Mutharika says President Robert Mugabe is a real African hero with a rich history of fighting against colonialism.
Mutharika made the remarks in New York recently after attending the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
“We have excellent relations with Zimbabwe. We have never had any problems … In the whole African Union I think it is clear that comrade Mugabe is seen as a real hero you know, when he speaks everyone listens because he has such a rich history of the struggle against colonialism. I think he symbolizes that generation of very great African leaders.”
On presidential term limits, Mr. Mutharika said, “It really depends, I think in some cases people think term limits are good that it brings in new leadership. Some people think that the only term limit that is important is the voters themselves. The voters can decide when they are going to term limit you.”
He said normally in parliamentary systems it is difficult to have term limits. “It really depends on each country.”
Mr. Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe for more than 35 years, is the current chairperson of the African Union.
Asked about democracy, he said even the United States after 250 years has been struggling with this form of governance, which is a political process.
“ … And we have embarked on that in Africa and I think there are a lot of elements of democracy we are having. Malawi for the first time we had tripartite elections in 2014 for president, parliament and local councils. So, for the first time we had elections at the local level which means that democracy is now going down to the people, to the roots and I think that is success.”