Vice-President Saulos Chilima has hit back at accusations that he is clinging to the position, charging that the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would not have won the 2014 elections without him
Speaking at Chule Primary School ground in Dedza a day after his UTM party was finally registered after a draining legal battle, Chilima said it is ridiculous for anyone to say he was not being ungrateful by choosing to take his own path as if he went begging to be running mate of President Peter Mutharika when he was an opposition candidate.
“It took four delegations for me to accept to be running mate and you found me in my office. I had a very good job, but you told me this is a calling and I eventually accepted.
“And I worked hard to take DPP out of opposition. DPP would not been won without me,” he told the excited crowd in rally broadcast live on Times TV and Zodiak TV.
Chilima said he owes no one any gratitude and the mandate he fought for and won runs up to May 2019.
“If I am still in this office beyond May 2019 then you can accuse me of clinging to my office. Otherwise I have no time for this nonsense,” he declared.
While celebrating his party’s registration and praising his legal team, the Vice President said it was sad that the mere registration of a political party should be cause for celebration.
“Should we really be celebrating registration of a party? There are real victories ahead of us but we have to celebrate because of the problems we have faced. So let us celebrate and not be apologetic about it. There will be more obstacles ahead of us, but we must not lose focus,” he said.
On Thursday, in attempts to foil the registration, the State suffered its third successive loss in the case when the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a High Court decision to reject its application to suspend enforcement of an order to register UTM as a political party by close of business on Friday.
Chilima maintains his pledge to create one million jobs within his first year of office if elected as President in next year’s tripartite elections.
Other speakers at the rally included the party’s secretary general Patricia Kaliati, Central Region champion Newton Kambala and former UDF vice president Iqbal Omar.
Until registration, UTM was a political movement formed in July this year and had been canvassing for Chilima’s presidential bid in next year’s Tripartite Elections.