Vice President remains tight lipped as he faces calls within his UTM to pull the party out of Tonse Alliance as some party members feel there is bad blood between him and President Lazarus Chakwera.
This follows President Chakwera’s famous Sunday hard hitting speech to newly hired cabinet ministers to which he reminded them he was the only boss, and no one else because he was the appointing authority.
Chakwera has also reduced the number of UTM cabinet ministers in the 30 member cabinet, increased number of MCP and People’s Party cabinet ministers and reduced in size the cabinet portfolio of Chilima from the powerful minister of Economic Development and Public Reforms to a mere minister of Public Reforms.
However, Chilima has not spoken on the matter and has not been seen in public since the cabinet reshuffle last week, fuelling speculation that he is not in talking terms with Chakwera.
UTM supporters continue to call on Chilima to pull out of the Tonse Alliance and immediately start strategizing how best to win the 2025 election.
But, Sean Kampondeni, Director of Communications at State House said reports that there is a rift between the president and his vice are baseless, saying evidence is there that the alliance between Chakwera and Chilima is intact.
He said even although the president and his vice are from different parties, secretary generals of both parties are full cabinet ministers and that the vice president of UTM and several other members of the party are also cabinet ministers.
On the absence of the VP during the swearing in ceremony of cabinet ministers, Kampondeni said people need to give the vice president credit for being consistent for not being present during the events.
He said it is strange that people are finding an anomaly in the absence of the vice president when he missed a similar event on the 10th of July 2020.