Malawi’s former vice-president Cassim Chilumpha has formally joined the United Democratic Front (UDF) and notified the Speaker of Parliament that he will be representing his Nkhotakota South constituency as a UDF member.
Chilumpha, the reticent law scholar, was elected as an independent legislator.
But in a letter date November 14 which Nyasa Timeshas obtained, the former vice president said he has returned to his former party, UDF.
The letter has also been copied to UDF leader in parliament Ibrahim Matola and chief whip Clement Chiwaya.
Chilumpha plans to contest at the UDF convention as presidential candidate and would face other aspirants like Friday Jumbe, Atupele Muluzi, Moses Dossi, Fahad Assani and Dr Saizi Bwanali.
UDF top official Humphrey Mvula is on record saying that although Chilumpha was an independent legislator in Parliament, he did not resign from the party.
“Chilumpha has never resigned from the party. We cannot stop people from contesting. It is an open contest as long as one comes from UDF structure. We are calling on all people who left the party to come back and build the party. What the party should do is to support whoever is elected at the convention,” Mvula is on record saying.
Chilumpha was vice-president to President Bingu wa Mutharika from 2004 to 2009 after former president Bakili Muluzi paired the two to contest on a UDF ticket. The two fell out after Mutharika left UDF to form DPP.
Mutharika demanded that Chilumpha ditches the UDF party and join the DPP when the two had a ‘one on one’ meeting at the New State House. But Chilumpha refused and was later charged with treason.
Chilumpha and another member of parliament Yusuf Matumula, are being accused of plotting to assassinate President Mutharika. They deny the charge.