Chilumpha, Uladi face off


Former State Vice president Cassim Chilumpha and Home Affairs Minister Uladi Mussa are expected to go head to head for the position of vice president for the ruling People’s Party at its first ever indaba on Monday in Blantyre.

PP goes to the polls in preparation for the 2014 tripartite elections and has indicated that it will have three Vice Presidents, one from each region.

But analysts say the contest in the central region vice presidency will decide the direction and future of the new party.

In the northern region, it looks like current State Vice President Khumbo Kachali will go unopposed while in the southern region the battle will be among Transport Minister Sidik Mia, PP Treasurer General Brown Mpinganjira and Zomba-based youth politician Joseph Chikwemba.

Uladi: Faces Chilumpha

But it is the Central Region contest that will determine the direction and future of the PP.

If either Chilumpha or Uladi wins the post, that means Mia should forget about becoming PP Vice President for the South because the party cannot afford to have two Muslim Vice presidents. In this scenario, it will leave Mpinganjira battling out with youthful Chikwemba.

Political analysts who spoke to Nyasa Times said it will be very hard for BJ, as Mpinganjira is popularly known to carry the day. This is so because his relevance in politics is now gone. Remember how he raised hopes of Malawians that he was the next best thing to happen to the country when he broke away from Bakili Muluzi and the then ruling UDF to form the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Remember his dismal performance in those elections, that was the last the we heard of BJ! Even when President Mrs Joyce Banda was sworn in on April 7, 2012, she did not see the relevance of having BJ in her cabinet.

This may leave the delegates with only one option,  Chikwemba as PP Vice President.

To be fair, the boy has no money, no car, no criminal record but he has one thing that can make him land the top job. Chikwemba is courageous! Remember how he stood to authority during the DPP regime by openly telling off the second Ngwazi, the late Bingu Mutharika when he imposed his brother on DPP and started behaving like the first Ngwazi with his autocratic rule?

Chikwemba has another advantage, he is a young man and political parties are saying the youth should be given chance to be involved in decision making processes, so there you go!

Now, the battle between Chilumpha and Uladi Mussa in the Central Region is very interesting.

Let’s start with Chilumpha. He is a very cunning politician and a very interesting person. A story is told that when he was a Lecturer at the Polytechnic, he could not use his office phone. The man preferred to use 20 tambalas on a call box. Weird, isn’t it? But he is also a lonely politician and always acts alone. We all saw how he frustrated Muluzi’s third term bid. People know that he was not for the idea and he never got a boot from the party from Muluzi, but ask what happened to Jan Jap Sonke and others who openly said they were not for the infamous Third Term. They were all sacked but Chilumpha was still standing.

Chilumpha was Chief Executive Officer for printing giant, Blantyre Printing & Publishing (BP&P) publishers of top newspapers Daily Times and Malawi News, at the time of the Third Term bid. He managed to get the secret discussions of the third term strategies out in the papers and at the end of the day, Muluzi gave up.

Instead Muluzi appointed him running mate to Bingu, probably he knew what kind of person Bingu will have to deal with. And even when Bingu was in power it did not take even a year for him to realise what kind of a Vice President he was dealing with, so a constructive dismissal was thrown in and when that did not work out, a treason charge was put on Chilumpha’s head.

Even when Bingu dumped UDF and formed his own DPP, Chilumpha remained in UDF, wondering, publicly ‘what is DPP?’.

How he ended up in Amayi’s government is also a mystery.

Now Uladi Mussa is also an interesting character. He was just a ‘junior’ minister in Muluzi’s time but his relevance was seen when Bingu formed DPP and he managed to convince everybody that he was a powerful politician and that he can change political goals! ‘Chenji Golo’.

He was Bingu’s trusted boy during the early days of DPP and unlike Chilumpha, he did not fight his boss Bingu and when the going got tough, he moved out and formed his own Maravi Peoples Party. He is still considered a powerful politician not only in Salima but the Central Region as well.

So here are the two contestants for the Vice presidency for the central region; Cassim ‘Kaka’ Chilumpha and Uladi ‘Chenji Golo’ Mussa, these two, ladies and gentlemen, will decide the future of the PP, trust me.

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