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'Rebel' ministers and coup plotters told to resign

Pressure has started mounting on some cabinet ministers to resign following their failed attempt to have the former president Bingu wa Mutharika's young brother, Peter, take over the presidency.

Edge Kanyongolo, associate professor of constitutional law at Chancellor College had a few words on the matter: "The honourable thing for them to do would be to resign because they failed to uphold the [Republican] Constitution."

The call for resignation comes after revelation that some cabinet ministers including Goodall Gondwe, Jean Kalilani, Vuwa Kaunda, Nicholas Dausi, Patricia Kaliati and Kondwani Nankhumwa attended late night meetings to strategise on how to bar the then vice president Joyce Banda from ascending to the presidency.

Constitutional law expert Justin Dzodzi said the ministers who were appointed by Mutharika made a deliberate attempt to usurp the office of the president from Banda.

"This was an attempted coup d'├ętat, it is treason, the right thing would be for them to resign. I am sure some of them would be resigning soon after the burial so that they concentrate on rebuilding the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) for the 2014 elections," said Dzodzi.

He said the cabinet ministers could not claim to have been misled because they had Attorney General Mackson Mbendera, Chief Secretary Bright Msaka who is a lawyer, presidential aide on legal affairs Allan Ntata and Peter Mutharika himself, a constitutional law expert.

"It's mandatory for them to resign because they have split with the president. Even if the president forgives them, they cannot have a good working relationship, it is very difficult for the president to erase this from her mind," said Dzodzi.

Gondwe refused to comment on the matter. Henry Mussa and Nankhumwa also declined to comment, saying was the mourning period.

Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu said he could not comment on whether the president would likely drop the 'rebel' ministers from her cabinet once she reshuffles it.

He said it is the constitutional prerogative of the head of state to choose who she wants to work with.

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