President Peter Mutharika’s running mate Everton Chimulirenji can barely read and speak English fluently, a prerequisite of one to perform well especially in the high office of the Vice President.
The revelations about Chimulirenji communication inabilities started emerging in 2014 when an aspiring candidate in Ntcheu North East constituency Joseph Malingamoyo, challenged Chimulirenji’s victory after the 2014 elections.
According to affidavits filed in court for the case, Malingamoyo claimed that Chimulirenji did not qualify to be a parliamentarian ‘because he cannot take an active part in parliamentary proceedings due to his inability to speak and read English well enough’.
Malingamoyo also claimed in the case that Chimulirenji presented his brother’s certificate to deceive Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and alleged that Chimulirenji also used the same certificate when he was elected as an MP in 2009.
He also said Chimulirenji failed to make any contribution in the National Assembly throughout his tenure from 2009 to 2014 because of language deficiencies.
This matter was also reported by the country’s leading daily newspaper, The Nation.
A political analyst wondered that if Chimulirenji was failing to communicate properly in English which is the official communication language for government, during his tenure as a Member of Parliament, how is he going to work effectively as a Vice president of the country.
“We must not take this issue lightly, this is a serious issue. Actually I have never heard him contribute anything in Parliament and this is bad for the country,” he said.
A Cabinet minister who did not want to be named also noted that ‘Hon Chimulirenji has difficulties expressing himself in English; even a written speech in English is very difficult for him’.
Chimulirenji’s CV does not specifically mention his qualifications apart from saying he studied for a business management course.
“This is dangerous for the country. We cannot have a Vice President who cannot speak English properly. We should be serious for once. This is the man who can take over running of the country in case of any eventuality that the President cannot continue,” said another political analyst.
“I attended a function in Lilongwe when he was deputy minister of defence and when time came for his speech came, it was horrible, the man couldn’t read a prepared speech in English, most government officials and other people at the function were embarrassed,” he added.
But President Mutharika has already defended his preferred choice, saying he had settled for Chimulirenji because of his integrity, educational qualifications, outstanding performance and a team player who would effectively help him run government for the next five years.
“He understands the difference between a vice-president and deputy president and that a vice-president is always delegated and the vice-president will never be a co-president,” said Mutharika.
Chimulirenji, 56, is also part of Mutharika’s Cabinet, served as deputy minister for Defence before the latest Cabinet reshuffle took him to his present portfolio as Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development.
He is also the party’s deputy national director of elections, a position he was elected to at the party’s national convention in 2018.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :