Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials on Tuesday ferried party district and constituency governors to Blantyre to tell journalists that their preferred presidential candidate is President Peter Mutharika as the crusader hat Mutharika should leave the leadership in the 2019 Tripartite Elections to Vice-President Saulos Chilima continues to get supporting voices.
The governors, who spoke at the meeting , said Mutharika is mature, experienced and exposed and that he has done extremely well in his first term of office therefore deserves another five years which will mandatory be his final term.
The DPP’s vice president for the south George Chaponda, Information minister Nicholas Dausi, chief political advisor and DPP administrative secretary Francis Mphepo and the party regional governor for the south Charles Mchacha were among the key DPP officials present.
The meeting comes after some party officials, including party directorfor the youth Lewis Ngalande and vice regional governor for the north Afici Mbewe openly backed vice president Saulos Chilima as party torch bearer in the elections.
Others who have openly supported Chilima are DPP legislators Allan Ngumuya and Bon Kalindo who say Chilima is young, energenic, intelligent, educated and charismatic.
Political commentator Humphrey Mvula has said in a talk show radio program on Tuesday that Chilima, though he might be fit for the job, might end his political career abruptly if he dares challenge Mutharika at the convention.
“These parties are family parties. People will always vote forMutharika because they know that he is the owner of the party having taken over from his brother, Bingu,” said Mvula.
He said chances for Chilima to beat Mutharika at party convention was almost nil.
Both Chilima and Mutharika have not commented directly on the matterdubbed Hurricane Callista after former First Lady Callista Mutharika ignited the whole issue some weeks ago that Mutharika, currently 79 years old, would be too old to carry on as he would be 84 at time of leaving office in 2024 if re-elected next year.
She argued that it is normal that thinking capacity deteriorate as one gets older; hence, her recommendation that Chilima, 45, be the torchbearer for DPP in the elections.
DPP regional governor (North) Kenneth Sanga has since said the DPP convention will endorse Mutharika and not to elect another candidate.
Sanga said he will critically screen delegates from the region to block anti-Mutharika delegates from attending the convention whose dates are yet to be announced.
Chancellor College-based political analyst, Ernest Thindwa, argued that those endorsing Mutharika and barring delegates from electing their leaders freely should be ashamed of themselves.
He observed that there was a struggle within the DPP between democratic and dictatorial forces, adding the forces to maintain the status quo are much stronger than those that want change.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :