Malawian Vice-President Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC) has rebuffed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government call for his resignation over strong criticism of government on corruption and nepotism and his subsequent resignation from the ruling party.
The DPP through five senior ministers; Goodall Gondwe, Nichalous Dausi, Bright Msaka, Samuel Tembenu and Henry Mussa held a news conference where they accused Chilima of practicing opposition politics while serving in a government position; hence, called for his immediate resignation.
While stating that he is not in the habit of reacting to what others say, Chilima said at a rally of his United Transformation Movement (UTM) in Blantyre on Sunday that Cabinet ministers calling for his resignation should understand that he was not appointed, but appeared on the presidential ballot alongside Mutharika in the May 20 2014 Tripartite elections.
“In 2014, the President [Mutharika] and myself contested in the presidential race. There were some who contested as members of parliament [MPs] and some as ward councillors. No one contested to be a minister.
“The qualification to be a minister is based on ‘pleasing’ the appointing authority to do so. It is a pleasure. I was mot appointed .”
And in an exclusive interview on Times Television , Chilima said while the people who asked him to resign are entitled to their opinion, his thinking was that it is not right.
According to Chilima, he has a contract with Malawians.
Said Chilima: “I signed a contract with Malawians in 2014 and from my knowledge this contract ends in 2019.
“It’s up to me decide whether I want to resign or not, and as of now I don’t see any reason to resign as I continue to serve Malawians,” said Chilima.
Chilima said he still goes to Capital Hill to work where he meets various people that need the vice president’s services.
The 45-year old admitted his soured relationship with President Peter Mutharika was because of “some” people in the DPP.
“These are people who gossip and sow seeds of division. These people seemed to have mastered the art of destroying the good relationship between the President and his Vice,” he said.
Henry Chingaipe, a political analyst has alsi questioned the DPP move to call for the Vice President’s resignation, arguing the office is protected by the Constitution, describing the move as too much ado about nothing.
He said the Vice-President can only resign on his own accord and said absence of impeachment procedures mean the DPP cannot forcibly remove him.
“The question is, is what the ministers are saying having any merit, perhaps what is happening is politically untenable but the office is a constitutional office, what they are looking for is a political solution. It might address the immediate issue but not the long term problem,” Chingaipe said in quotes reported by The Nation newspaper.
The fallout between Chilima and his boss Peter Mutharika follows the VPs announcement that he was leaving the ruling party and hinted on challenging for the presidency during next year’s elections.
During the week, the state trimmed drastically his security detail and the two sides have been at loggerheads trading accusations on corruption, among others.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :