State Vice President Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima’s dumping of the ruling D emocratic People’s Party (DPP) has opened a can of worms with revelations that plans to force him out of the party started in 2013 when the party was still in opposition.
Nyasa Times can reveal that some senior members of the party were not happy that President Peter Mutharika had picked Chilima, a rank outsider from the corporate world, to be his runningmate and that was the time the skimming began.
“Some senior members summoned Mutharika to express their dismay on the arrangement and the outcome of the meeting was that they should sideline Chilima from the word ‘Go’. When the list of the first cabinet came out Chilima was never given a ministerial position,” a reliable source privy to the plan told Nyasa Times.
“The second plan was to isolate Chilima from meeting the President. The normal practice is that the President meet his Vice every Friday. Since Chilima had no ministerial position these meeting never took place. Mutharika has spent four years without meeting his Vice President to discuss matters of state,” added another source.
After isolating the Vice President, Mutharika started firing officers that were elected at the DPP Convention placing them with his appointed loyalists.
The second to be fired was the CEO of the party who is the Secretary General Dr Jean Kalirani and was replaced by Eliam Kudontoni (late).
Then the Regional Governor for the South, Dr Ben Chidyaonga was replaced with Charles Mchacha followed by Regional Governors for the Centre and North.
Mutharika also replaced Women leaders like Mayi Annie Makuta before appointing George Chaponda as Vice President for the South, going against the party’s own Constitution which spells that there will be no Vice President in the region where the party president is coming from, explained our source.
“But the appointments of Francis Mphepo as Chief Political Adviser and Greizelder Jeffrey as Secretary General led to the DPP losing its steam from within the party as the party was being run like a personal company and that is why the National Governing Council (NGC) did not meet for the past four years.
“It is not surprising that the Vice President has left the party. This is just the start, many more senior members will leave the party soon,” said the source.
Chilima on Wednesday publicly attacked Mutharika’s administration of being riddled with corruption as he announced his resignation from the ruling party, leaving the door open for a presidential run.
He was handpicked by President Mutharika to run alongside him in the 2014 elections on DPP ticket.
“We must give this country a new lease of life. We must clean this country. We must drain the swamp.”
Chilima’s shock move comes as calls were mounted from within the DPP for him to challenge 79-year-old Mutharika, who has ruled the country for four years.
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