Former first lady Callista Mutharika who has thrown her weight behind Vice-President Saulos Chilima to lead the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as presidential candidate in the 2019 Tripartite Elections “for a better Malawi” has insisted that her in-law and incumbent President Peter Mutharika is not the leadership that Malawi needs beyond 2019.
President Mutharika has declared that he will lead the DPP as presidential candidate in the elections.
But Callista, the widow of DPP founding president Bingu wa Mutharika, is in a group called Chilima Movement advocating for leadership change in the ruling party.
Addressing a news conference in Lilongwe on Thursday, she apologised to Malawians for being one of the people who backed Peter Mutharika to be the country’s leader, saying he has not delivered.
“Peter is, indeed, my brother-in-law. On this occasion, I am looking at him as a leader of this country. to me, he hasn’t done so well as president and leader of our party,” she said.
Callista, one of founding members of DPP, said 79-year-old President Mutharika is unable to make crucial decisions, “too much procrastination.”
She continued: “We made a mistake as Malawians because we elected someone who is not conversant with Malawi’s culture.”
Callista said Mutharika has been surrounded by “beasts of prey” who cannot assist him to be a better leader but rather mislead him.
She maintained her declaration of support and encouraging Chilima to represent DPP as a presidential candidate in 2019.
“Chilima our hope for better Malawi,” she said at the news conference which was attended by DPP legislators and director of women Patricia Kaliati, Noel Masangwi, Allan Ngumuya, Willet Kalonga, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga, Bon Kalindo, Malidon Ndau and Paul Chipungu.
Other DPP officials present included national organising secretary Richard Makondi, director of youth Louis Ngalande, director of logistics Dr Ben Chidyaonga and deputy director of women Loyce Mponda.
Callista was seen dancing and singing while clad in DPP party cloth with a portrait of Bingu, said she was deeply sorry to Malawians for “misleading them” to vote for Peter Mutharika.
She said: “He is good as a lawyer and academician, but a bad leader.”
Callista said she will not be intimidated by regime thugs as some people in the DPP, apparently not amused with her position, were plotting to “finish her off”.
Mutharika picked Chilima, then Airtel Malawi managing director, as his running mate in February 2014. The pair campaigned from the opposition and wrestled power from then president Joyce Banda and her People’s Party (PP).
The President said he settled for Chilima from a possible list of 40 potential running mates because he was decisive and assertive.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :