Mutharika ‘2019’ proclamations versus age, Saulos Chilima: Malawi Presidency

On Sunday, July 12, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) held a political but christened development rally at Thyolo Community Ground where ruling party zealots and apologists took turns to spew vitriol at various real and perceived enemies.Loose cannon

President Peter Mutharika made an ‘official announcement’ that he will be the party’s candidate in the 2019 General Elections. He will be 80 years of age that time -an octogenarian .

Among the individuals that were at the receiving end of a barrage of insults were Boniface Dulani, a lecturer, researcher and social analyst at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College. Former President and leader of People’s Party (PP), Joyce Banda and MCP President LazurusChakwera also got a fair share of the verbal tirade.

Dulani was rattled for fronting a recent Afro-barometer survey that revealed that people in Mutharika’s own backyard in Thyolo are disappointed with their own son and don’t trust him. Patricia Kaliati led a cohort of traditional chiefs and party zealots in calling Dulani some unprintable names.

Every DPP gathering will always have something to say about former President Joyce Banda. Just like the other rallies before this one, many speakers produced unpalatable statements about the former Malawi leader that are neither here nor there.

It is, however, the announcement of the 2019 candidature by President Mutharika that is particularly interesting and no doubt a subject that will cause tongues wagging for some time. Notwithstanding that we are very far from the campaign period and that the DPP has not gone for a national convention as stipulated in the party’s constitution, Mutharika blared that he will be the party’s candidate in the next elections and that he will triumph with a landslide.

This is a statement that can only arise due to pressure. President Mutharika has not made this statement from without, he obviously has been advised to do so by this panel of advisors under the stewardship of Ben Phiri – the subtle presidential chief advisor and the one person who is single-handedly responsible for a majority of presidential decisions (many of them poor decisions) that the President makes.

Though our constitution does not stipulate a cut-off age for anyone to become President, it is a general consensus that the President’s office is a pressure-cooker environment that needs a person to have energy to make decisions. Evidence in Malawi and somewhere else has revealed that octogenarians don’t make good Presidents.

They make scandalous mistakes and generally flop. President Mutharika will be 80 in 2019 and 85 in 2024 if he wins the second term. Are Malawians ready to repeat the mistakes of Ngwazi Dr. Kamuzu Banda here at home and Robert Gabriel Mugabe in Zimbabwe? Already, Mutharika’s presidency has been so rambling and generally without real direction.

The fact that he appears aloof and far removed from the daily experiences of Malawians only fuels the rumours that he is not in control. It also only feeds into the general belief that it is Ben Phiri, his personal advisor, who is responsible for the majority of presidential decisions in this country. In any case, is it not the people who choose a leader? Do leaders choose themselves?

Another worrying matter is that Mutharika’s proclamations may be history repeating itself pertaining to relationships between the President and their Vice. The relationships have historically been rocky especially when it comes to issues of succession. A power struggle may be looming between the President and his Vice in the DPP. Remember Brown Mpinganjira and Bakili Muluzi? Remember Joyce Banda and Bingu wa Mutharika? Your guess is as good as mine!

Many DPP supporters (of course except for those that come from the Lhomwe belt) have been silently hoping for a DPP with Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima as President. He is said to have the right mix to be a good President. He is ambitious, young, handsome and intelligent. Some people say that he talks about all the right things in private and in public.

Chilima, however, has lost the colour and verve that was typical of him during the campaign period and in the early days of the DPP reign. His public appearances now seem to be few and far between. When he appears in public, he often looks distant and far removed.

His handsome face has lost the glow that used to follow him wherever he went. Have they already pushed him aside, into a world of his own? Has he already been hobbled down by the curse of the Vice President’s office that most of us already knew was just a matter of time?

President Mutharika’s declaration about his 2019 candidacy seems to have been the final nail in Chilima’s coffin. It could also be a message, or to put it more succinctly, a warning to his Vice President not to harbour any ambitions for the top job. In fact, Mutharika’s pronouncements in Thyolo could be a veiled sign that there is about to be a vacancy in Mr. Chilima’s own office.

“The public is the only critic whose voice means anything at all”- Mark Twain

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37 thoughts on “Mutharika ‘2019’ proclamations versus age, Saulos Chilima: Malawi Presidency”

  1. Chris katengeza says:

    Tatopa ndi ulamuliro wa nkhalamba youths should take over

  2. Ineyo says:

    The warm heart of africa…

  3. CBM says:

    Another state funeral, another musolium

  4. Don’t worry about 2919 just read what the Word of God says on Proverbs 27: 1. Then you will have your answer there.

  5. Bwanje says:

    Saulosi the writing is on the wall, please start strategizing 2019 is for the youth period.

  6. Tili Chenene says:

    Talking of 2019 now will only result to cardiac arrest to someone. I prophesy

  7. mdzukulu wa a Chikowi says:

    Ine ndi dandaulepo apa abale anga a Malawi mwaiwala bwanji kuti Tate wa dzikoli Kamuzu Banda anatiphunzitsa Unity! kodi mukamati mtumbuka! mchewa ! muyawo mukulakwa mukuligawa dzikoli. chonde abale anga chepetsani zimenezi. tiyeni tionetse chikondi. Tonse ndife a Malawi. tiyeni tizikondana momwe a Kamuzu anatiphunzitsila. l love you all Malawians.

  8. nana says:

    2019 is very far to talk of us a new stadium in Blantyre Mr president construct new roads and stop continuing where bingu left you must leave your own legacy

  9. Police Palibe ,PP says:

    Kodi inu atumbuka , tulusani msogoleri wanu wokongolayo ndi wanzeruyo timuone . Nangaa kapena iju anali ” First Gentleman ” ndiye mumati ndi okongola, inu khope yosaona kuti yadyera ndiwo ya nkhwiru ija , kapena khalamba yanu mukuti Bima Shawa yi ndiye yokongola. Mukamalemba zinazi muzikhala serious . Ndikumasuleni , mtumbuka sazalamulira dziko lino kuzera pa mavoti, pokhapokha mutachita zija munamuchitira Bingu zi. Mzimu wawo uwuse mu mtendere

  10. chatonda says:

    Atumbuka mpaka mulowa pansi chifukwa cha jealous. You will have your turn sometime in future. Do not loose hope. There is a better tomorrow to come. Peter is the worst leader sofar. How can he be talking of 2019 elections when he is failing to run the country now/ What a joke? Chakwera is ticking and ticking to the high office. It is now an open sencret. He is a better material for the top job and not Lomwe for its own sake. Where are the NGOs please/ When are we showing him that things have fallen apart?

  11. Kadziotche says:

    The writer suggests that in 2019 APM will be too old for the office of the president.He is right to suggest that the presidency is a pressure cooker and that a lot energy is required in there.

    The energy required is not physical.No.

    It is emotional intelligence,tact and diplomacy.Simply put political experience which most young presidential hopefuls do not have.The world is and has mostly been ruled by old people.I don’t know why nor do I know when that will change.At least not in 2019.

  12. ngung'unde nsaku says:

    Thom Chiumia you have written a well balanced article. Wakwiya ndi nfiti. You hit the nail on the head my brother from Zomba..mwa wa ku che Fikila, chizukulu chi che Twee. Malawi does not need an Octogenerian. Mutharika is so boring an uninsipiring. the man even forgets his own name at meetings. This Ben Phiri is becoming a dangerous man. Munthu wa nfupi ndi ovuta. Malawians need to kick this regime out and we cannot stand a Mutharika beyond 2019. Peter needs to go to an old folks home….

  13. Mukati chilima ali ndi ma looks a bho, mukuyelekezera nda kkkkkkk

  14. ZZ Junior says:

    since the attainment of multiparty democracy, Malawi shall always be governed by leaders from the south. Hear this ..
    1. Bakili Muluzi (YAO)
    2. Bingu Mutharika (LHOMWE)
    3. Joyce Banda (YAO)
    4. Peter Mutharika (LHOMWE)

    Next will be a YAO again. I know how it feels to be a Tumbuka with such a scenario. Kwende nayo……

  15. I agree with Mtumbuka 1.Northerners are sleeping very well. Where in the world have you seen people failing to grow crops because of pests and diseases.We are only concerned because the north has no University,one TTC,all constructions of roads have stalled,Mombera University has not started and street lights stopped functioning after the removal of JB. So northers are in problems even in sports it is one dilapidated Mzuzu which will kill people anytime.We know northerners are tied to a stake they cannot fly but bearlike they shall fight the course.

  16. Samantha Lewis says:

    Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. If you cheat people, they cheat you too. It is a fact of life that has ever proved true!

    By the way, I dont find this man handsome at all. In shorts he even looks awkward

    Stick to facts- leave out the beauty thing and we will not comment about his looks either.

  17. Mphangela says:

    Nanu a pitala mwalawilila,amalawi si ana ,inu tadzingogwilani ntchito mukachita bwino mudzabelanso bola chilima musamutaye.komanso paja malamulo adziko la malawi president ayenela kukhala not more than 77 yrs panthawi yamavoti i hope a pitala simunafike 77 ,mudzafunse amuluzi kuti anawona zotani momwe ankafuna 3rd term.chilima stand film u have all the support on the ground asiye adzawona polekela.ovota ndife obela ndiwe.

  18. wamuchalo says:

    mr.PSM, are you comfotable in your mind with the stuation,? think before you talk, you are in MALAWI plz! think forward’, do you know Goodall?

  19. Uchindami says:

    Let’s hope senility won’t have consumed him completely by 2019!

  20. wonder says:

    atumbuka chimene amadziwa its criticizing and making noise… bakili this bakili that all becoz he was a yao… bingu and peter again they both are worse in the eyes of the tumbukans… if u knw u are beter than the yao, lomwez and all tribes ycant you produce the best president from your tumbuka tribe

  21. zaluma says:

    Late AFORD Czar Chakufwa Tom Chihana once said, “Let’s wait and see”. Guys comment reserved on my fellow Zulu- VP Chilima. But the issue of octogerian as a torchbearer for DPP is a product of Malawians’ mind-set. Go in offices both public and private sectors, you find the dominant decision-makers are near-octogerian (65 and 80 years old) and octogerians. No surprise Malawi economically is still lagging behind. Malawian both educated and less-educated with formal education require an overhaul. Malawians are the problem and not APM. APM is capitalised and manipulated the prevalent situation to achieve his goals. Do not waste time insulting him but transform the mind-set of most Malawians to understand that leadership is not about age but ability to lead and do what is appropriate for the common good.

  22. Idi Amini Dada says:

    Mr reporter, U say Chilima is handsome? Every man was created in the image of God. This is bad reporting. Mwalakwa pokhapa koma zonse mwalembazi nzenezene.

  23. Zidura Ntengo Undigwere says:

    So what is wrong with VP Chilima serving two terms in that capacity? Many VPs in the USA serve two terms; the latest being Joe Biden. They are effective, and nobody complains about it. We can’t all be presidents, folks.
    Perhaps the writer is in search of topics with more traction: because the article has no credibility; only speculations. And a website of news should be more about more than speculations. Asa!!!!!

  24. Njalayamalamuchiuno says:

    Sometimes it is golden to take a low profile as what Chilima has done. Let emotions take care of those who think are clever now as time will tell and Malawians are the best judge,all things being equal. DPP is a Party that will continuously look behind their sholders until 2019 without registering any tangible development for the country. What we have witnessed so far is more talking ( theories, dreams) and launchings of various projects, with pomp, without any real substance on the ground. The majority of the citizens feel cheated and are increasingly losing hope.

  25. Zikugwilizana bwanji maLooks ndikukhala President wadziko? Mwatenda uli wakwithu Thom Chiuma? Being a handsome dude does not necessarily mean you can be a wise President that’s just a physical appearance
    Saulos is already serving as a Vice President and besides being a Veep does not make you an automatic successor

  26. Manyetera says:

    Izooo. Wina aziyesa kuti akuomberedwa mmanja osadziwa afuna amuswe mbama. Chilima zoziyamba dala. Unkaona ngati pitala ndi munthu wabwino uziona wakula watha. Iye ali 80 yrs iwe you are barely 50. Open your eyes

  27. Lazaro Chakwera Akazi says:

    Simukudziwa ndale inu olemba pa nyasatimes. The president has said that deliberately to stop the ranks and files in DPP from competing against each other. If he says he won’t stand ministers and other heavy weights in DPP will be scheming against each other at the expense of working hard. Wachita bwino.

  28. Nambuma Girl says:

    Gogo Mutharika! Kodi mtima bwanji? Inuyo simukuona kale kuti ndinu nkhalamba? Tawasiyireni anyamatawa. Ngati mumakanika kuyankhula ndikuganiza pano nanga mukadzafika 2019 ndiyetu you will be like a Cabbage.

  29. Yakunowa says:

    Was Mpinganjira Muluzi’s vice at one point in time? A Nyasa Times onani bwino pamenepo. Maybe I didn’t read between the lines.

  30. geo stream says:

    WE will vote for APM again in 2019 if the stupid northerners give us a stupid and dull president Joyce Banda. By the way who is stupid if we compare your choice of Joyce and our choice of Prof APM?

  31. clement says:

    APM promised that he wud do things unusual. Now he cheats Malawians that he conducts “developement” rally, which, in fact was a DPP campaign rally. Is this doing business unusual? JB, Bingu, Bakili also conducted lots of development rallies but it was occasion to castigate opposition figures and other “enemies”. The more things change the more they remain the same

  32. mtumbuka1 says:

    Words of a desperate man with a desperate attempt to convince the masses that he is not feeling the heat. Plunder after blunder, no direction no vision but you expect Malawians to vote for you?? Not northerners hope to get votes from your stupid people who does not know what they want.we deserve better than this pile of crap sitting at state house calling itself president of the republic.

  33. kabotolokamo says:

    Hahahahaha! lol loud laugh , he should as Tembo and Muluzi ! silly !

  34. Musazafulu Dums. says:

    Thus very very pitty to Mr. Chilima who labouriously day and night to make the party win. This time arround he has been a fool and useless what kind of peaple these? Shame on Mr. Chilima lost his job and rushing for this dirty game, a job hired by poor people. Shame.

  35. MALOPA Jnr says:

    Chilima aziwone poyimbila mfiti mmanja. Chilima angamathandizire kubera ma vote? Mxiiiii

  36. Biswel says:

    Hehede uluuuuuu koma kumeneko a Chilima munakwera bus ya Luncheza via Thyolo malo mwa Lizulu via Ntcheu

  37. Psm says:

    Komasotu atumbuka mukuzuzika mmaganizo mpaka tulo kusowa chifukwa big man, hehede! Uluu!

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