Malawian Vice President Saulos Chilima, 45 made a strong political statement of intent presenting a considerable threat to ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in next year’s general elections when he launched ‘new hope for change’ – United Transformation Movement (UTM) at Masintha ground in the capital Lilongwe , seeking to unseat the 79-year-old President Peter Mutharika.
Supporters of UTM were keen to put their stamp on Malawi political history.
They wore a combination of red and yellow T-shirts, bearing the slogan, ” Tsogolu lathu lowala, labwino, lafika”.
A frenzy of excitement rippled around Masintha as Chilima accompanied by his wife Mary, arrived in the Toyota Landcruiser registration number SKC 9933.
When Chilima rose to address the rally which was beamed live on Mibawa TV and Zodiak watched by millions both in Malawi and abroad even streaming on social media, he delivered a vintage speech, brimming with passion and emotion.
He started his address by calling all to respect those who lost lives in the July 2011 anti government demonstration.
SKC – Saulos Klaus Chilima said: “The tendency of intimating Malawians is slowly starting to take its roots back in the country. I am not afraid and you too shouldn’t”
He told a mammoth crowd at the country’s political barometer which failed to accommodate the audience as some spilled to the nearby Kawale Primary school, that next year he will be changing his position from Vice President to President of the Republic through the ballot.
“This country is on fire and this mammoth crowd here tells us one thing that we all want to change,”said Chilima clad in red and yellow UTM cloth.
“ We seek votes from you and when we are comfortable we forget about the promises we made and start stealing public resources and this has been happening for all the past administrations,” said Chilima amid ululations from the crowd when he launched his .
He decried high corruption and nepotism cases in the country saying its high time UTM ‘clean the swamp’
Chilima also spelt out some points in their yet to launch manifesto which will address among other things public sector reforms, education, health, security and power reforms.
“The money to develop this country is here. For example we know where to get the K145 million. We need to strengthen public systems and I can assure you that in the first six months of my government we will deal with issues of lack of school fees and those people who have stolen public money should start giving it back now,” said an emphatic Chilima.
He also announced to the ulululation of the crowd that his government will end the education quota system and restore merit.
“We will end the quota system in our education system,” he said to the defeating noise.
Chilima also hinted that women will be “stopped” to dance for leaders but will be empowered to do business and can only dance when celebrating their “profits”.
Among other issues, Chilima said land redistribution and review of land policies will among his adminstration’s agenda.
Chilima also deplored the issue of albino killings, saying government will ensure maximum security to end the ritual killings.
He said his party’s mission was to guide Malawi on the path to prosperity by tackling unemployment, power shortages, corruption and creating viable markets for farmers.
The UTM also unveiled influential politicians as party members, including the Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya, and former first ladies Callista Mutharika and Shanil Dzimbiri.
The Vice President was mobbed by people as he left the rally and his convoy moved at a snails pace to his official Area 12 residence.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :