Chikulamayembe says Khumbo’s dumping OK: Endorses JB-Gwengwe pairing

Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe of the Tumbuka tribe of the Nkhamanga Kingdom in Rumphi District has endorsed  President Joyce Banda’s pairing with Trade Minister Sosten Gwengwe in May 20 elections, saying she  will be offered a new contract as Head of State and Government.

Chikulamayembe said Wednesday the choice of Gwengwe as Banda’s running mate was welcomed in the north and downplayed the dropping of the current Vice President Khumbo Kachali, saying “that’s how it should be because every day is not a Sunday”.

“Everybody picks someone basing on a life calendar. That’s how politics works. As chiefs we will support you by working with Gwengwe,” said Chikulamayembe, known by his people as Themba La Mathemba.

The Chief said this in his welcome remarks during Banda’s distribution of maize to household affected by hunger at Bolero in Rumphi.

Kachali was conspicuously absent at the meeting and Aford President and Minister of Youth Enoch Chakufwa Chihana occupied his (Kachali’s) position on the podium. The immediate right hand side of Banda.

Chihana welcomes President Banda in Rumphi
Chihana welcomes President Banda in Rumphi

The Vice President was reportedly conducting another meeting at Jenda Trading Centre with Paul Shaba, an Independent candidate for Mzimba South.

Chikulamayembe’s pledge follows a similar one on Tuesday in Mzuzu by Senior Chief Mtwalo of Mzimba district who told Banda that the change of running mate will not affect the Chiefs support for her administration.

“We know there have been changes in some leadership positions but that should not worry you because as Chiefs we will rally behind you because we know you are our leader and nobody else,” the Chief Mtwalo said.

Chikulamayembe also heaped plaudits on Banda saying she was not discriminatory, tribalistic or nepotistic.

“You always walk the talk and that makes you a good President,” he said.

Peoples Party Provisional Chairperson for the north Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira said northerners were not angry with Banda for not choosing Kachali.

“In fact people here are happy that you even considered a northerner to partner you in running this government. This is unprecedented and we owe you votes in the May 20 elections,” Ngwira said.

PP’s Treasurer General Harry Mkandawire also justified the choice of Gwengwe, saying he is highly educated, humble, generous and ready to work with Malawi’s youths.

“Your excellence you made the right choice and we will work with Gwengwe,” Mkandawire said.

President Banda thanked Chief Chikulamayembe for being candid saying she has always relied on Chiefs for wisdom.

She then elevated Traditional Chief Katumbi to Senior Chief following a plea from Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe that some Chieftaincy have not been elevated for the past 58 years.

Crowds in Rumphi
Crowds in Rumphi
President Banda hands over maize flour to an old woman
President Banda hands over maize flour to an old woman

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