No doubt, Friday was Professor Peter Mutharika’s day. The noise in the streets of the Commercial City of Blantyre, music and decorations in all roundabouts gave the hype to the much-awaited event.
Although Mutharika was supposed to present his nomination papers at 2:00 pm at Comesa Hall, the city was already polluted by noise as early as 7:30 am.
People clad in blue attire which is the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) colour were seen from all corners of Blantyre. While some were on long trucks and all manner of vehicles you can imagine, others were on foot, heading to Chichiri in readiness for the ceremony.
Despite politics not a much-talked-about business in offices, especially those belonging to government, this Friday was exceptional, everyone was eager to see what surprise Mutharika had for the country and the entire DPP family.
But the event reached its crescendo in the afternoon around 1:00 pm when people from as far as the city’s community hall lined up to see the Malawi leader and the new catch for the day.
Driving through Chipembere Highway to Comesa Hall, it was all blue with multitudes of people heading towards the centre of attraction. DPP young cadets with their bodies painted blue from head to toes were also eye catchers.
While others queued to see the DPP torch bearer, Comesa was the place of surprise. Thousands of expectant people had gathered there and enjoyed the music by Dan Lu, Sendera Sisters and Joseph Nkasa.
To gain entry into Comesa Hall was not business for the faint-hearted since security was up to the mark and only those accredited by MEC gained easy entry. The hall was jam-packed such that others had to stand throughout the event.
Everything went on well until the gossip heightened when all the people who were considered to be running mates were seen inside the ‘chamber.’
“Then who will be the running mate if Chimunthu Banda, Samuel Tembenu, Bright Msaka and Kondwani Nankhumwa are all here,” some media gurus were overheard wondering aloud.
The President arrived before 14:00 in an open vehicle alongside thousands of his followers, brought business in the commercial city to a standstill, with a new package, a surprise for many including the DPP followers. It was Everton Chimulirenji as his runningmate.
Mutharika’s choice IS Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development and Parliamentarian for Ntcheu North Eas.
Ululations, dancing, drums music you name it, were in the air.
As Mutharika made an entry into Comesa, DPP flags were up in the air while the Malawi Police Brass Band played music.
MEC Chief Executive Officer, Sam Alfandika in his all-week powerful voice welcomed Mutharika and everyone in the room.
The colourful and lively event started and few minutes later, Mutharika was called to officially unveil the running mate, the one, if all goes in favour of the blue league, will be the country’s Vice President.
“I present to you a young, humble man who knows very well that he is Vice President. He comes from Ntcheu District and was the Deputy Minister of Defense before I later promoted him to be the Minister of Civic Education.
“He is the person I will work with for the next five years,” said Mutharika as party loyalist who had thronged the hall were heard murmuring in disapproval.
Equally disappointed were thousands of supporters that had swarmed Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds and had been in ecstatic mood before the pair presented their nomination papers.
In his brief statement, Mutharika said he wanted to continue the development that the DPP-led government was implementing.
“The President also said the May 21 election will be a watershed in the history of the country as Malawians will either choose between taking the country forward or backwards, between building or destroying everything the DPP had begun.
He said: “But I have faith in the people of this country. When we found this country broken, bruised and economically wounded, we chose to fix and heal our economy.
“When we found this country in a crisis, we chose to regain our national pride and economic confidence to drive forward our country. Now we are set to take Malawi to new heights. We have set the stage for making Malawi a prosperous nation.”
Mutharika said he looked forward to five more years of improving the economy, businesses, quality of life, creating a skilled Malawi, opening new companies, creating more jobs for the youth, industrialising Malawi and empowering farmers, among others.
“We look forward to five more years of delivering more roads, connecting us to better hospitals, better markets and connecting us with our people, delivering more decent homes for vulnerable children, men and women,” he said in his nine-minute speech titled ‘We have set the stage for making Malawi a prosperous nation’.
Friday’s occasion brought the most surprise package of the week for presentation of nomination letters by different presidential aspiring candidates for the 2019 elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :