Chilima to resign at Airtel Malawi: To be technocratic VP

Malawi’s leading opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential running-mate, Saulos Chilima has disclosed he will resign as Managing Director for mobile operator, Airtel.

Chilima also revealed was asked to partner Professor Peter Mutharika last week Friday and did not hesitate to accept the offer.

Speaking during media briefing at Ryalls Hotel in Malawi’s commercial hub Blantyre officially, Chilima regarded himself as a “complementary brand” to Mutharika and pledged to become a “technocratic vice-president” once voted into power.

“I wanted to confirm my choice to partner professor Peter Mutharika for May 20th, 2014. I assure you of my support and commitment that we deliver in successful campaign and agreed to serve people of this country, and to serve the country from doom,” said Chilima.

Saulos Chilima (L) parters Mutharika for Malawi presidency on DPP ticket
Saulos Chilima (L) parters Mutharika for Malawi presidency on DPP ticket

He added: “When I was approached I took some time to consult my colleagues, family, religious leaders. I sacrificed my job to partner professor Peter Mutharika, it is a big risk, not easy decision”.

Yet to turn 41-years-old in two days time, Chilima described his appointment as running-mate as a birthday gift, adding he will not contest as Parliamentary candidate in his home district of Ntcheu but will support party candidate.

In his first public appearance and speech as DPP presidential running-mate, Chilima said was influenced to join DPP due to its principles and manifestos that hinged on development, security, good governance and food availability.

“I for one will not participate in mudslinging. Whoever wants to talk let them talk. I can’t argue with a fool, for nobody will be able to tell who is sane. I promise a civilized campaign”.

“I want to be a technocratic vice-president. I have to resign at Airtel as well as a board member of various companies such as Inde Bank”.

Mutharika said he had a long list of possible candidates to partner him but opted for Chilima because of his is from central region and based on his technical and professional background.

“We wanted to have a balance. I am from southern region and his is from central. But also we considered his technical expertise. I need somebody to complement me on that side,” said Mutharika.

Mutharika officially unveiled Chilima as his running-mate when he presented nomination papers to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.

A renowned local political analyst, Dr Henry Chingaipe, said of the Mutharika –Chilima parit: “The DPP presidential ticket is very, very interesting for the kind of political leadership that it will bring.”

The presentation and acceptance of nomination papers, according to MEC is just a preliminary but the Commission will announce names of endorsed candidates in seven days.

Blue sea: DPP supporters in large turn out
Blue sea: DPP supporters in large turn out
Mutharika and Chilima during the presser
Mutharika and Chilima during the presser

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