Chilima conceded defeat in Malawi presidential race before petitioning court

Malawi’s   immediate past vice-president Saulos Chilima, who is contesting presidential results of the elections held on May 21 initially conceded defeat but changed his mind, it has emerged.

Chilima and UTM lawyer Chikosa Sulungwe at the court challenging results
The statement that said to have been drafted by Chilima but UTM says it was not released

Chilima, who challenged President Peter Mutharika in the elections on a UTM Party ticket and came third, has also joined hands with Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and some civil society organisations (CSOs) leaders in organizing demonstrations against the results.

Social media is awash with a statement circulating that Chilima conceded defeat on 24 May 2019.

But UTM party secretary general Patricia Kaliati said the statement was not released to the public. It is not clear why he did not release it.

In the letter with UTM emblem and signed, Chilima stated to his supporters that tallied votes that far showed that “we are nowhere near to making it to presidency as UTM.”

Chilima is contesting the Presidential election claiming that it was rigged in favour of the eventual winner, President Mutharika. Yet in the letter Chilima said regardless of reports of rigging attempts, Mutharika was the people’s choice and he accepted that choice.

UTM deputy spokesman Leonard Chimbanga is on record to have also amplified the statement in his post on Facebook on May 27.

Votes tallied by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)  on May 24 showed Mutharika had a clear lead.

“I believe that Malawians decided what they want. To this effect, I have accepted the results and conceding defeat prior to the official announcement of the winner. Once the winner is declared, I will be making my telephone call to the President elect,” reads the letter.

Chilima further appealed to all supporters of his party to remain peaceful and accept the results, “respect the people’s choice” and embark on rebuilding the party in preparation for 2024 elections.

“This country is larger than UTM, and it is in this spirit that we must all exercise great responsibility in times like these when our unity is threatened,” the statement said.

At the time of drafting this letter, his opposition ally Chakwera had already set the country on the path of post-election violence.

On May 22, with the vote count only at 25%, Chakwera accused the elections body of delaying on releasing the results. At a news  briefing he warned of blood shed if the results did not go in his favour.

Immediately after his address, his supporters started  what were planned to be peaceful demonstrations that were marred by incidents of violence, especially in the Central and Northern regions.

The MCP supporters started beating up people that supported other political parties or were from other regions, destroying and looting property. These incidences of violence continue and Chakwera has not condemned them.

After the official announcement of the results, Chilima again spoke publicly against the violence. But he said they would challenge the results in court.

The combined case is in the hands of Constitutional Court.

But while the court is yet to make a ruling, Chilima has also joined Chakwera in attacking MEC chair Justice Jane Ansah, her commissioners and staff.

Chakwera and Chilima have mobilised supporters  and civil society organisations (CSOs)  for other vigils on July 4 and 5 to press for the resignation of Ansah at the electoral body.

The vigils will come after Catholic bishops under the Episcopal Conference on Malawi (ECM) have ondemned the  post-election violence in strongest terms.

“We denounce the vice perpetrated on innocent people and their property based on political, regional and tribal lines. Violence is evil and unacceptable. It is contrary to the freedom we fought for when we chose multiparty system of government,” the statement reads, in part.

While acknowledging the right of Malawians to hold peaceful demonstrations as provided in the Constitution, the bishops call on citizens to maintain peace, calm and unity as the nation waits for the court’s determination on the matter.

As Chakwera and Chilima are disputing results of the presidential election, their

reaction contradicts the conclusion made by international election partners and observers who certified the elections as peaceful, free, fair and credible. These partners include European Observer Mission, SADC, African Union and the US government through USAID.

As part of the transparency in the conduct of the elections, MEC also allowed local organizations and political parties to operate their own independent tally centres. UTM operated its own tally centre.

Local organizations such as the Malawi Electoral Support Network, a coalition of civil society organizations in electoral issues, and the EU-funded National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) also ran independent tally centres. Both of them found that Mutharika has won the election.

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dungulinya
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dungulinya

i don’t really understand the claim especially from UTM. the part has got no base to
rule the country…it is actually composed of rotten pillar because those pillars were built from the weak foundation..there is no logic in claiming that he had won the election…look at prominent figures in UTM, they are all fallen and its just a myth that UTM won the elections..can you bring the justification on that one?

Oversear
Guest
Oversear

Chilima knows that he lost elections. what MCP doesn’t know is that Chilima is a good strategist and is deliberately associating himself with MCP with an aim of getting sympathy from MCP supporters. next time he will destroy MCP more than he has done this year. okumva wamva koma popeza ena mamva nkhwangwa ili mmutu! asiyeni azaliranso. osadabwa kuti Chilima is busy campagning in te name of misonkhano yothokoza while MCP is silent. akupwetekani muona.

Mazabuka Ntchongwe
Guest
Mazabuka Ntchongwe

Let me share a short story I heard from a colleague. A couple had been married for 2 years but without the fruit of the womb. In the third year, the wife informed her husband that she was expecting a child and this thrilled him. When the child was born, the husband immediately congratulated his wife. After 2 weeks he came across a note which had fallen out of his wife’s handbag and for one reason or another the note drew his curiosity. After reading it and to his utter horror, the note came from his wife addressed to another… Read more »

Umboni
Guest

Take a DNA test on the Child to see whether or not the Child is biologically yours. I guess that is what SKC has done-take the case to the Courts to ascertain whether or not APM genuinely won the election.

YOSWA
Guest
YOSWA

NO INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER HAS EVER SAID THE ELECTIONS WERE NOT FREE AND FAIR, ASIYENI AJA, THEY JUST POCKET ALLOWANCES AND GO. THEY WILL LEAVE YOU QUARRELLING BEHIND. They have never reported the truth even in highly disputed elections with clear evidence just from the electrol process

Charles Phiri
Guest
Charles Phiri

Just accept it that DPP and especially Peter Mutharika is the best for Malawi. A proven leader, who has done much for this country and its citizens, by way of development, ensuring security and LAW and ORDER. That is why he won the elections. FAIR and SQUARE. DPP is the best political party in AFRICA. I love you guys..

President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza
Guest
President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza

Yes, without any rigging evidence, Chilima did the right thing at the time, but with the coming of tippex, everything changed also.

@Madando
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@Madando

ndayamba kudabwa ndi NyasaTimes, akugailani 4 Billion Ija eti???????

Tozer Tsono
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Tozer Tsono

Anyone is free to change their mind on subjects of concern within reason. Chilima has a good reason for changing his mind; tippex changes and other appearances of rigging. That said, if it is confirmed DPP won without rigging, the opposition, including Chilima will have to answer to their flawed logic for running as separate parties. The question will be, why couldn’t the opposition figure out the Math on the ground? UTM filled the vacuum left by PP in North. The Central has been the MCP strong hold. And the South for UDF before switching to DPP. It will almost… Read more »

Richie
Guest

In Africa when you concede defeat it is a sign of weakness
So you just say atibera

Oracle Mlosi
Guest
Oracle Mlosi

As a marketor, dude Chilima is just trying to confuse and win MCP voters,, given MCP leadership is mentally compromised! It is a position for competitive advantage for the next general elections! It’s like when Fr Kambalaza rebeled against the Holy See, he had to find solice from pentes

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