Fired Energy and Mining Minister Dr. Cassim Chilumpha has not yet returned the official vehicle, a Toyota Prado which he was using when he was in cabinet forcing his successor John Bande to find solace in his personal car, Nyasa Times has established.
Chilumpha is said to be in state of shock following his unexpected dismissal from cabinet by Malawi leader Mrs. Joyce Banda.
Reports reaching Nyasa Times indicate that the former vice president during the first term of late Bingu wa Mutharika, has been incommunicado, his phones are out of reach and efforts to locate his exact position have hit blank wall.
Sources also reveal that when drivers from the Mining ministry went to his Lilongwe residence, they were sent back by Chilumpha staff on grounds that they cannot release the vehicle without his approval.
This forced Bande to report the matter to the Office of President and Cabinet for action.
“Yes, I can confirm the vehicle is still in the custody of Dr. Chilupmha. For whatever reasons I have no idea but we have tried on various occasions to collect the vehicle without success. As I’m speaking to you Hon. Bande is using his personal car for official duties.
“In all our visits to Dr. Chilupmha’s residence in Lilongwe, we have yielded nothing because every time we go we are told he is not around so I’m informed that the OPC has been involved to intervene on the matter. This is very strange for a former minister to cling to government property,” confided a well placed source at the Mining ministry.
President Banda fired Chilumpha for undisclosed reasons and immediately split the once vast ministry into two with the Energy department being headed by Mangochi-North parliamentarian Ibrahim Matola.
Meanwhile, when asked to comment on whether it is true that he is using private vehicles, Bande was elusive saying the matter was being sorted out.
“My friend, I have huge respect for Dr. Chilumpha and I would not stoop so low to discuss such issue in the media. My understanding is that the authorities are sorting out the issue, that is all I can say,” said Bande in a telephone interview.
Chilumpha was not available for comment. His office also refused to take questions from this paper.
Chilumpha has over the years established himself as cunning politician with a difficult altitude.
Many stories have been told about how he could leave the country on official trip without informing his wife only for her to learn about it in the media.
Others even claim that he does not pick up his phone anyhow even if it is the president calling.
He is a practicing Muslim who has higher regard for principle and accuracy. According to those close to him, Chilumpha prefers staying alone.
During his five year stint as the country’s second ever vice president, Chilumpha puzzled the Mutharika administration when he went for months without his phones being traced following bad blood with his boss Bingu.
The Nkhotakota-south legislator was probably the surprise package at the recent ruling Peoples Party (PP) elective conference as he emerged from nowhere to snatch the party’s vice presidency responsible for political affairs with landslide victory.
He has treason charges hanging on his head on allegations that he plotted to kill late president Mutharika.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :