Malawi ex-veep Chilumpha and his ‘padding’ business

Apparently, former vice-president Cassim Chilumpha is a strong believer in the idea that there is strength in numbers. That is why, you could say, he is forming a political party to add to the numbers and balloon the registry of parties. Beyond the numbers, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the new political party in the making, the People’s Assembly for Democracy and Development (Padd), will be another version of DPP, PP, UDF and MCP.



Perhaps, lost to Chilumpha is the obvious fact that what we need are not more political parties, but sound ideas and an unwavering commitment to pursuing them, features that are in terribly short supply in a nation that has been unlucky with its leadership. From what we know, Padd and the former UDF heavyweight are on the scene only to exploit the goodies of politics.

Lest we forget, Chilumpha was one of the pillars of the nauseatingly corrupt UDF regime. For me, he didn’t do enough to demonstrate in word and action that he was the only fish in the poisoned UDF pond that genuinely believed in the evils of corruption and abuse of office.

While government, the party and the system in which they operated was bigger than Chilumpha, it was possible for the former vice-president to show the world that he was the last man standing in the fight against corruption.

To make matters worse for him, he was caught up in the storm surrounding the K187 million corruption scam that ripped the Ministry of Education between 1998 and 1999. Fine, the corruption case against him was dropped due to lack of evidence, but the fact that he was never cleared through the courts leaves a cloud hanging over his head.

More importantly, the K187 million paid for fictitious projects disappeared on his watch as minister of finance at the time. In the same way that he would have taken the credit had the ministry performed exceptionally well, Chilumpha shared the liability for the chaos that rocked the ministries of education and finance. Is this the man we want to become our president some day? Not for me.

And then what unique values and ideas set Padd apart from the crowd? According to interim secretary general Levy Luwemba, the party is defined by ideas such as devolution of powers through decentralisation, creation of a strong national economy, open and democratic government as well as free enterprise. Sounds samey and tired? Well, that’s because that is what these ideas are. Haven’t we heard all this more than a million times?

Even worse, we are told the team Chilumpha is cobbling up to lead the party is the catalogue of the same names from other parties who have wrecked and tainted our politics. So, if you are hoping that Chilumpha, Luwemba and company are in town to freshen things up in our democracy, get disappointed now and recover before the party is launched.

Talking about political parties in general, it is not by chance that globally there is a trend marked by weakening popular identification with parties and increasing mistrust of these institutions. The general popular perception of parties across the world is that they exist primarily as platforms for politicians to steal from the State and enrich themselves.

These are issues that have echoes in our own politics after MCP, UDF, DPP, PP and other parties have left us behind as they steamed forward in their search for the ‘political dividend’ in the form of personal benefits for their leaders and some followers.

As a product of this political structure, Padd will be no different. In keeping with the spirit of its name, those claiming the holy pedestal today will use it to pad their pockets and earn government positions for its leaders who will try to deregister the organisation when the governing party comes calling with some irresistible carrots.

By the way, Chilumpha is a fine academic whose books in commercial law have earned their place in law studies. If I were him, I would rather spend my time teaching and writing books instead of forming parties that nobody needs.

My last word is that it is high time political parties justified their value in our politics and democracy. Being there simply to be part of a crowd is not the reason we need parties. I hope Chilumpha gets this message.

  • The article appeared in The Nation’s column ‘My Last Word’
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27 thoughts on “Malawi ex-veep Chilumpha and his ‘padding’ business”

  1. steve says:

    Biased Reporting.As a reporter,balance articles,scrutiny remains electorates’.So far,no politician is clean in Malawi.Proud to be learned…

  2. Zondiwe says:

    You have conveniently ‘forgotten’ the treason case that former VP Chilumpha is still facing in the courts. The K187million case also leaves a sour taste on our mouths asMinister responsible, he seems to have ignored the financial supervision of some people who received payment, but abandoned the projects they were expected to execute.

  3. Mwendanato says:


  4. Says the truth to shame Devil says:

    kkkkkkkkkkkkkk. aliyense akufuna upulezidenti

  5. First offender says:

    Chipani chomenechi chifanana ndi cha mayi

  6. samson nkhata says:

    ??? dont encourage him he can make it in2019.

  7. Vincent says:

    Malawians voted for multiparty during refrendum therefore the sky is the limit as to number of parties or aliyense atakhala ndi chipani chakechake.why bringing in the issue of corruption which you hav rightly said lacked evidence?Perhaps you want to tell us that Cassim is very innocent,he has never ever been involved in any malpractice therefore fit to take the country to the rightful direction

  8. Samarakunjuta says:

    So Malawi has turn to be a country where all political nonsense is allowed by these lost People without a leader????
    How can someone with human senses can allow Cassim chilumpha to have a second shot after all the trauma he caused the country during udf regime.Malawians bwanji kugodomala chonchi???This guy has no use in our political industry just forget about him and lets vote for young with flesh ideas

  9. wiza says:

    The support is there a long the lake shore. If we managed to vote for Elson what more for our Kaka Cassim. Peter si uyu akulamulilapa.

  10. Emmanuel E.Muyenza says:

    Same old! same old! Hopefully some day we will have a Politcal Party with genuine interest of the people.

  11. Thondwe says:

    2019 will be for the young, progressive, and transformational leaders. No more old,tired, and recycled politicians

  12. Thyanga Thyanga says:

    Iwe Jacob Jimu, have been paid to write this story? I see no sense in your story. You hv jst attacked Chilumpha. If you have personal issues, don’t address them using Nyasa. Ukukanika kuinena DPP yasowetsa 577 billion jst in 8yrs ndie ukanene za 187 million ya 1999. You have no story to tell us ans I think you have been paid to write your stupid story. Leave Chilumpha alone. He is jst like any other politician.

  13. Trevor Manyi says:

    577 BILLION woyeeee

  14. nkrumah says:

    You mean he is bringinbringing ISIL to Malawi. Over my dead body i can’t see that happening . Yahweh and Allah forbid

  15. Kamkhwezule Kakang'ono says:

    Jacob Jimu writes clearly and puts forward good analysis for a reader to judge for himself. Keep it up man.

  16. NGONGOLIWA says:


  17. You know me you hypocrite says:

    Chilumpa is Muslim fundamentalist he will confuse Muslims in the country. Last I heard of this political cameloen was that he was dying of AIDS in. Johannesburg hospital and I prayed for his dead soul.

  18. Lord Denning Chatsika says:

    Kaka just rejoin UDF padd yikutaisani nthawi and your money kikikikikik

  19. Kamwaze B says:

    As much as Malawi needs less parties and more people with fresh ideas but still Cassim Chilumpha has always been a quiet intellectual who has a potential to achieve greater things. Let’s give him the benefit of doubt, he may prove to be the strike of genius Malawi has been longing for.

  20. hisbolla says:


  21. Professor Dr. James Napwiri Phiri says:

    Leave Chilumpha alone. He is exercising his freedom of association.

  22. good says:

    We have allowed men of GOD to abandon the sheep in search for greener pastures. No one has commented including PAC and yourself. Leave Chilumpha to try his luck. He has the right to contest it is wrong to castigate him for forming his own Party. After all he wants to be In charge and who knows he is better placed to lead better.

  23. captain says:

    This guy cannot lead he is always by himself, is it pride or too educated as u lawyers call each other as learned guys.kkk

  24. myao says:

    Much as I dont appreciate padd values, ifind failure to confirm contention with current landscape in those detesting new formations. Are u saying all is okay and we dont need something new?

  25. Namarokoro says:


  26. Dr Mbewe says:

    I agree with the writer. Chilumpha is just wasting time. No sane voter can vote for Chilumpha as president. He is corrupt as his mentor Bakili Muluzi. This country is very unfortunate. All leaders after Dr Kamuzu Banda so corrupt now making the country the least developed in the world. Oh! what did you do Mother Malawi?.

  27. Viva says:

    The fact that even people like Chilumpha think they are worth our vote makes me sick. We must look desperate as a nation ndithudi! What has he done munthu osakonda anthu, munthu okwiya ngati ameneyu to think we can vote for him?

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