The firebrand politician Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leadership appears to hate, Mulanje West legislator and party director of women Patricia Kaliati , has vowed to continue canvassing for the presidential candidacy of Vice-President Saulos Chilima over President Peter Mutharika at the party’s elective convention set for this month even if the party plan to dislodge her from her constituency.
Kaliati on Thursday led the so-called Chilima Movement, a faction of DPP national governing council (NGC) members and legislators pushing forward Chilima’s name for the party’s presidency.
During the briefing, she described Mutharika as a clueless leader.
And on Friday the party’s regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha organised a handful protesters to march from Chitakale trading centre to the district commissioner’s office in Mulanje to present a petition against Kaliati and her husband, Angie, who is Mulanje Pasani member of Parliament (MP).
Mchacha distanced himself from the protests.
Kaliatia argues that the flopped protests are an attempt to silence her and curb her ability to propel Chilima Movement to gain ground in the Lhomwe belt, considered the DPP stronghold, and criticise the government, and in particular, President Mutharika.
“I’m unshaken … I’ll continue with the Chilima Movement,” she said.
She said: “Let me tell you this; I know all the schemes that some people in the party are using to put me in bad light, but they will fail. This is the handwork of Charles Mchacha who is spending sleepless nights because of the stand I have taken to support the VP.
“But I can challenge them, they should come to my constituency. They will never get votes. People from my area are fully supportive of me.”
Mutharika is facing an unprecedented resistance for an incumbent—eligible for a second term as per the Malawi Constitution—from some DPP members canvassing for Chilima’s candidacy.
Former first lady Callista Mutharika—widow of Bingu who was the incumbent President’s elder brother—sparked the succession debate weeks ago when she said her in-law, 79, should pave the way for the comparatively youthful and energetic Chilima, 45, widely seen as a hands-on and results-oriented leader after he vibrantly led the Public Sector Reforms Programme that has since lost steam after being moved from his domain.
Besides Kaliati and Bon Kalindo from Mulanje, several DPP NGC members and legislators, including Noel Masangwi (Blantyre City East and NGC member), Allan Ngumuya (Blantyre City South), Malison Ndau (Ntcheu Central), Paul Chibingu (Mwanza West), national director of youth Louis Ngalande and suspended deputy regional governor (North) Afiki Mbewe have openly supported Chilima’s candidacy.
Other people are director of logistics Ben Chidyaonga, national organising secretary Richard Makondi, deputy director of women Loyce Mponda, lawmakers Willet Kalonga and Joseph Chidanti-Malunga.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :