Malawi possible veep Chimulirenji has English language deficiencies

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.

Everton Chimulirenji and hos wife (left) likely to be the country’s vice president if Mutharika re-election bid succeeds on May 21

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.

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che nnungu
Guest

Timudikila nthawi ya debate

Kawawa
Guest
Kawawa

I disagree with all those who are saying proficiency in the English language should not be one of the criteria for choosing a president. It should. In the Malawian context, proficiency in the English language denotes that one is educated. Our education is conducted in the English language. Don’t compare our vernacular languages with international languages like Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic etc. Our vernacular tongues are deficient and limited in a lot of respects. People in Russia learn nuclear science in Russian; those in China learn calculus in Chinese. Can you teach theoretical physics in Chichewa? Can you teach econometrics… Read more »

Kingmfumu
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Kingmfumu

Fellow Country men, fluency in English need not be the must have qualification for leadership. Hon. Chimulirenji can address gatherings in Chichewa, and have someone, to translate. Our friends in Tanzania, do this. Even the Chinese leaders have translators. What is important is to have a leader who has a vision and courage to lift the welfare of his people, a leader who can be a father, to the fatherless, and a beacon of hope to those in desperate stations of life. History has many an example of a leader was not considered fluent, or had a speech defect. The… Read more »

Denis Chavula
Guest
Denis Chavula

I like your comment. That’s brilliant. Long live Kingmfumu.

Alibe pulobulemu
Guest
Alibe pulobulemu

He only needs to know two words: YES SIR! ……… And he will be just fine. Kikikikikikikikikikikikik

jamax
Guest
jamax

Bravo Chimulirenji you are superb amene sakukondwa nanu ndi MFITI basi – ife tizakuvoterani pa 21 May kaya wina afune asafune ife ndi a PETER – with DPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Denzo
Guest
Denzo

I agree with you Jamax. All the best Chimulirenji. Abale mpando ndi umodzi tiyeni tiphunzire kuti sitonse tingathe kukhala ma veep pa nthawi imodzi. Ndiponso sakanachokera ku mwera pokhapokha ubale wapakati pa DPP ndi UDF ukanetheka koma mmmmmmmm.

Shack
Guest
Shack

Once he becomes VP he will go overseas to purchase an honorary degree just like what Muluzi did. I can volunteer to be his English teacher after that. I would love to give our VP sukulu yakwacha.

Chifundo
Guest
Chifundo

Why is that a problem? He only needs to know one word… “YES” kkkkkk. Zuma also had ma deficiencies but was president! Besides, we already have ministers who are worse than messengers and watchmen so this is in line with the current standard. You don’t need to be educated only to say “yes abwana”

joseph Banda
Guest
joseph Banda

Go around you savages. Does President of Russia, china and all rich Arab countries speak English well. What a MYOPIC WRITER

Ishmael Phiri
Guest
Ishmael Phiri

Unfortunately you are comparing mangoes and guavas. Those countries you have mentioned are developed countries. Malawi is a begging nation. If you have to beg better, you need to understand language of your donor. Even during regional meetings, it is only English and Portuguese spoken. Kulibe Chichewa. Chimulilenji is our own Idi Amin in making in terms of use of Queen’s language..

Denzo
Guest
Denzo

you are write my friend. why Malawi? Please ndipo ndikupempha kuti Chimulirenji asagwe ulesi ndi anthu ansanjewa please

No English
Guest

Those whom we call educated are the ones amafuna kukwera bwato pakati pa nyanja. Mind you all the vice presidents in the past spoke good English but all of them wanted to be presidents before their turn. Look Nchilima failed to hold on. The moment he go his PHD (,pull him down) then started growing wings.
Know this Votes come from villagers who don’t speak English

psyuta
Guest
psyuta

The writer of this article is the most daft I have seen on this online newspaper. This is our DPP runningmate, not for the opposition . Makape a opposition muli mmadzi. Mumvetsatso. All your plans have failed. You wanted to influence APM to choose a wrong person. DPP will not waver because of you shallow campaign. You are wasting your precious time. DPP GOAL is to achieve eighty five percent landslide victory. Kaya mufune musafune azi zichitika ndithu.