Some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) top brass members are plotting to drag Vice President Saulos Chilima into various cooked up corruption allegations as one way of finishing him off politically and bring a gulf with President Peter Mutharika.
The scheme has been hatched after realising that DPP’s handpicked successor to President Mutharika, George Chaponda who is Agriculture Minister, has had his reputation damage and integrity compromised as a result of a number of corruption allegations including the ongoing maize-gate scandal under investigations.
Gloves are now off but the DPP top brass to smear Chilima and that he should be portrayed as a corrupt person hence their desire to implicate him through propaganda machinery of the regime.
Nyasa Times understands from DPP sources that the party’s top officials are angry that the Vice President urged Malawians to reject “mediocre leadership” which they suspect was an indirect attack on President Mutharika, who is being criticised by critics as a clueless and visionless Head of State.
Through the scheme, the DPP officials want to soil Chilima as a corrupt person soliciting kickbacks from potential government suppliers and investors.
“Soon they will start planting stories that donors, investors visit the Vice President at his official residence in Area 12 to give him bribes. The plan would have been already in motion by now but they are still digging around as they are yet to find anything tangible to crucify him,” said a DPP source familiar with the plan.
One of the planned schemes is to allege that Chilima got kickbacks from suppliers of Maltis at the Road Traffic Directorate, the suppliers of National Identities, constructors of the National Fuel Reserves, constructors for the head office for MERA and relief items in the Department for National Disaster.
However, backed by the source’s scepticism, Nyasa Times investigations through interviews with insiders also revealed the allegations were mere plots to discredit the Vice President.
For example, Maltis was instituted during the Joyce Banda regime hence making allegations of receiving kickbacks by Chilima do not hold water.
Chilima’s involvement and Road Traffic was when he chaired the Public Reforms Commission – which has been stripped from him on allegations that he was becoming popular – simply provided strategic leadership which has made Maltis visible and managed to reform Road Traffic a star performer now.
Another plot is to say that Chilima got kickbacks from suppliers of National Identity Cards, a project which just like Maltis Chilima simply provided leadership which saw it materialising after 12 years of attempts but all financial and supplier contracts were being done by UNDP and the responsible ministry.
Also in the plot is a smear on Chilima that he misused donor money meant for Department of Disaster Management Affairs which, ironically, was highly rated in 2015 and last year for smooth coordination of humanitarian response and relief distribution and there have been any reports of corruption since Chilima became in charge.
But still even if there was a chance of corruption, as Vice President, Chilima is not involved in financial issues as that is done by the PS and respective donors for specific programs and sometimes funding is directly from donors.
As for MERA and National Fuel Reserves, said the source, it defies belief how the Vice President would be involved in the two’s corrupt activities if any but said it was a matter of wait and see how they roll out the campaign.
The source said such plots was just a tip of the iceberg, saying there are many plots being cooked to finish off the Vice President so that he becomes a political liability not to command public outrage once the DPP starts isolating and ill-treating him.
DPP administrative secretary Francis Mphepo declined to comment , demanding Nyasa Times to reveal the source of the story.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :