Chilumpha ‘still politically active’: Writes off Assani, speaks on Uladi

Malawi former vice president Dr Cassim Chiumpha says he has remained politically active and parried away speculations that he intends to dump the ruling People’s Party which he is the vice president ( central province).

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times, Chiumpha a reticent lawyer said he has concentrating in strategizing for 2014 elections for the party and his bid to renew his parliamentray mandate  in Nkhotakota South Constituency.

Commenting on the challenge he is going to face from justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Fahad Assani, the PP vice president said he will bring out his real self in a few months and trim Assani to his political size – political weakling.

However, he declined to mention the plan he will employ to mount a successful campaign to retain his seat.

Chilumpha: Still politically active

Bring Assani on

“Assani is free to stand anywhere in the country, and in fact, this is not the first time I will compete with him. In 2009, he also stood [under the UDF banner] and I was an independent candidate, you know how he fared. He did not even came second and I wonder why just because he has said that he is going to stand the it should be an issue,” said the fluent speaking Chilumpha.

“Even if the party is going to assist him, I will not lose, I work with the people from the area and they know how I perform that’s why they have kept me on that position for so long,” said Chilumpha emphatically.

“People can call Assani names but am not afraid of him. There are also other people who are going to stand there, some of them who performed better than Assani but still am not moved,” he said.

PP established by President Joyce Banda in 2011 after her firing from the then ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is yet to conduct its primary elections  in Nkhotakota to come up with its representative during the May 2014 polls.

Chilumpha, who served as cabinet minister in President Banda’s administration before being dropped, won the Nkhotakota South seat in 2009 as an independent parliamentarian before joining PP.

But Assani hitherto considered Chilumpha’s closest friend since their college days where they both took law, expressed optimism to come out victorious during the party’s primaries.

“I am quite humbled by the fact that the people of my area have asked me to serve them as their Member of Parliament come next year.

“I have, thus, accepted with dedication, humility as well as love so that this constituency can see better life of development than it has done up to this point,” said Assani, who once represented Chilumpha in his treason case but later withdrew to concentrate on his political life.

In 2004, Chilumpha was elected MP for the area on UDF ticket but resigned by virtue of being sworn in as Malawi’s Vice President.

Denigrates Uladi Mussa
On his relationship with PP Presidential Campaign committees chair Uladi Mussa who is currently seen to be a giant in the central region, Chilumpha said they practise different style of politics.

“There are some people who are vocal, they make a lot of noise but they have nothing to offer to the people, so am not like that,” said Chilumpha.

Uladi is mostly used as a key speaker in President Banda’s political rallies where he makes specialised foul-mouthing speeches against opposition leaders.

“I am a quite person and I do my work as much as I can. During the party convention, people were saying that Mussa is a giant and that I cannot win against him but I beat him handsomely,” he said.

“Mussa is doing his job which he was appointed for and I do mine which I was elected for,” Chilumpha said.

“Uladi’s work is national wide and I concentrate in my area which is the central province so there no way that I need to be making noise,” he said.

Charges on his head

The former Vice President was arrested for treason in April 2006 allegedly for plotting to kill late President Bingu wa Mutharika in an act that would have allegedly been committed in Mzimba.

It was alleged that Chilumpha hired expert assassins from South Africa to do the job and the said assassins eventually became state witnesses in the case.

The case – which he was answering with his close confidant Yusuf Matumula -has since stalled. –(Additional reporting by Felie Mzumara, Nyasa Times)

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