Former Malawi first lady Callista Mutharika has sparked debate following her WhatsApp post which has gone viral in which she expressed her opinion that vice president Saulos Chilima was the country’s hope for a better future and that he should lead the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as presidential candidate in 2019 polls.
Callista, the widow of DPP founding president and former Head of State Bingu wa Mutharika, posted her sentiments through a WhatsApp forum for former members of Parliament (MPs) which has gone viral as many people are sharing on social media.
“Honourable members, just to let you know that I, Callista Bingu wa Mutharika, is one member that is supporting and encouraging the Right Honourable Saulos Chilima to represent DPP as a presidential candidate in 2019… Chilima our hope for better Malawi,” wrote Callista in the WhatsApp message seen by Nyasa Times.
She claimed her life is now in danger as some people, apparently not amused with her position, were plotting to “finish her off.”
Reads her post: “Right now I hear certain quarters are unhappy with my move and are planning to finish me. I don’t know how. This is for your information. Meanwhile, help watch and see how they will finish me…”
Nyasa Times independently verified the authenticity of the WhatsApp that the number was indeed Callista’s phone. Both Bingu’s widow and the chairperson of the forum Clement Stambuli confirmed it is Callista who wrote on the group.
Stambuli said the platform is public because members were were public figures and Callista was writing to inform members that she is in danger for her support for Chilima.
But Callista refused to say anything more than what she has expressed herself on WhatsApp forum.
Presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalilani said Mutharika will be torch bearer for DPP in the elections.
Speculation has been rife that the State machinery and DPP were sidelining Chilima, who joined active politics in 2014 after being picked as Mutharika’s running mate in the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, in an attempt to ditch him ahead of the 2019 elections.
But Mutharika is on record praising Chilima as his son and proclaiming that the two have an excellent working relationship.
For some time, the taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) had visibly snubbed airing events of the Vice-President.