UTM Party president and State vice-president Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima has set conditions for him and his party in discussing any political allaunce, saying it will be about making Malawi first.
Chilima said his party is already in alliance with some parties such as People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) of Mark Katsonga and Mafunde but that if it were to go into grand alliance with other major parties, he would welcome such as long as they have a common agenda.
There have been fevered speculation that UTM could discuss with main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was panic-willing to lure Chilima in the alliance.
But Chilima said: “We are always ready to work with others as long as we can accommodate one another. It will also depend on our motivation for that alliance. So, yes, an alliance is possible.”
The UTM Party leader, who is the country’s vice-president after being reinstated by the Constitutional Court which annulled last year’s presidential election, tinsisted that UTM will be there “whether there will be an alliance or not. The party has leaders.”
While UTM is open to talk to DPP, MCP and other parties, Chilima declined to shed more light on what role he would play should the alliance materialise.
“If we are going into an alliance and I front a position for myself, I should be faulted,” he said, adding “If we start by placing leaders, the agenda will be lost.”
Continued Chilima: “ Let us discuss first what we want for this nation, how we will achieve it, and finally which leaders will take us there.”
Political analyst Mustapha Hussein of Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, cautioned UTM and DPP to tread careful with their supporters if they are to enter into alliance talks.
“Well, we are yet to see how this will end, it is well and good as long as there is clarity on the objectives. It will not be surprising because we know the leader of the UTM came from DPP.
“However, there is need for both sides to consult their supporters otherwise if it is only done at the top without input or without the blessings of the supporters then it might be a weak alliance and some may end up leaving the parties. We expect more stories of such alliances as we move close to the time the court ordered for fresh elections,” he said in quotes reported by Malawi News on Saturday.
Commenting on the issue, social and political commentator Emily Mkamanga said: “It is high time the leadership in Malawi took Malawi first. This can even stop the problem of abject poverty from escalating. In fact, when looking at the worsening poverty in the country, one wonders whether the leadership takes Malawi first.”
During the campaign for the May 21 2019 elections, both MCP and UTM went to town castigating the DPP leadership, arguing it is a government that is marred by corruption, nepotism, tribalism and “thieves”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :