Malawi veep not being estranged anymore: Chilima proper second-in-command

Malawi government protocol on Tuesday ensured Vice-President Saulos Chilima was properly recognised on protocol list to see off President Lazarus Chakwera to Zambia and was seen dismissing the military parade at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) as proper second-in-command unlike in the past when he was estranged.

Chilima with heads of Malawi Defence Force and Malawi Police
Chakwera on departure
Presidenr Chakwera bids farewell with Vice President Saulos Chilima on departure

While serving as veep during the former president Peter Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government, Chilima was estranged when he expressed intent to challenge Mutharika in the presidential race in the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

During Mutharika’s time, Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) was sidelining Chilima on government protocol lists despite being a Constitutional Office as the veep.

But on Tuesday,   the Vice-President who self-drove to and from the airport, a departure from the norm where vice-presidents are usually chauffeur-driven, was addressed first followed on protocol list by other heads of government agencies, including the Speaker, Chief Justice followed by Cabinet ministers and other government officials.

“Apparently it shows that Chakwera seems to be determined to honour his campaign pledge of ensuring that the Vice President is not being estranged anymore but accord the office the respect and support it deserves,” commented governance expert Makhumbo Munthali to Nyasa Times.

Different times: When in power President Mutharika and his veep Everton Chimulirenji above and President Chakwera and his deputy Chakwera below

He said President Chakwera wants to prove his critics wrong including his predecessors that “it is possible for the President and his Vice to work together irrespective of their diversity.”

Said Munthali: “At the same time, you are seeing a Vice President who seems determined to support the President to deliver the campaign promises.”

Chakwera partnered with Chilima for presidency in the fresh presidential polls and supported by other seven political parties, they dislodged DPP candidate Mutharika, making him a one-term president.

Section 79 of the Constitution says a Vice-President is elected alongside the President and “shall assist the President and who shall exercise the powers and functions conferred on the First Vice-President…by this Constitution or by any Act of Parliament and by the President.”

Historically, there has been tension between Malawian Presidents and their Vice-Presidents predominantly over issues bordering on succession.

The Zambia day-return trip was Chakwera’s first foreign visit since assuming office 86 days ago.

At the airport, the old tradition was observed where the President was seen off and welcomed by political party supporters, most of whom defied Covid-19 guidelines such as social distancing and wearing of masks. Chiefs and several ministers were there, too, business as usual.

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timothy pagonachinda mbomta

Nanu inu mwalawilira. It is too early to judge. Chilima and APM fell out in 2018, three years after they won and now LMC and SKC pair is just three months old mwayamba kuwombera mmanja. Shame.
Wait for 2023, muzalembenso zimenezi

Last edited 1 month ago by timothy pagonachinda mbomta
William Murray Chiume Jnr
William Murray Chiume Jnr
1 month ago

Sorry to disappoint MCP and Chakwera supporters but the by-elections are going to be a big big win for SKC and UTM. By 2025 half or more of MP’s will be UTM.

Henry Mayo
Henry Mayo
1 month ago

Let us wait. Let us see who is mightier MCP or UTM. This byelectios are a test of strength. If MCP looses than Laz Chakwera is less popular than SKC. Maybe even Autuple. Let us wait not too long to go.

Ken Phiri
Ken Phiri
1 month ago

This is only 3 months into the Govt. Its too early……

nyarugwe
nyarugwe
1 month ago
Reply to  Ken Phiri

When it comes to you do not say “its too early”

Destroyer of liars
1 month ago

It’s not only the president to treat his vice with dignity. The vice should also know that his actions should be in line with the expectations of the president. He should not try to outdo or outsmart his boss. Chilima is one person who wants to show that he is the best in this country. It’s that type of attitude that will bring him down again. If it happens again people will now conclude that the problem is not presidents but him.

mkamwini
mkamwini
1 month ago

This is good development indeed. My worry is on security detail. when driven it does not mean one can not drive; but a security protocol. Can we stop this market leadership.

nyarugwe
nyarugwe
1 month ago
Reply to  mkamwini

Do you fear DPP might do something bad?

achalume
achalume
1 month ago

too early to say that. even during the first days of Peter/Chilima relationship, Chilima was taking the mantle when Peter went outside country. Relationships of president/vice has always been cordial first 2 years but come third year, they start separating. so lets wait till third year to judge.

Mkanda Gudu
Mkanda Gudu
1 month ago
Reply to  achalume

But Bingu/Cassim was shaky in less than 15 months of their being in office. However, I agree that APM/SKC started on a very good footing, until the “atidyenawo” brought a wedge between the two compounded by the power play then. Can these two LMC/SKC prove the narrative different?

Business as Usual
1 month ago

Well done Mr. President and your vise. zimenezo ndizomwe tinkafuna. koma izozo zomakadzadzana ku airport-zo apulezidenti akamapita komaso akamabwera kunja zitathaso bwa? Few government officials and the vise president can escort the president but not the whole qoir. its posible guys, we can change things and develop this nation. I am happy with how the president has begun. So far so good

Afumu
Afumu
1 month ago

too early, wait 2024

Isaac Mbewe
Isaac Mbewe
1 month ago

Ma cadet, simunati mulira, you wish this relationship fails, mukhaula.

The Knight Templar
The Knight Templar
1 month ago
Reply to  Isaac Mbewe

Please be rational ma cadet a Tonse Alliance. It’s just very early to start speaking like that. Hahahaha. You think APM and SKC anayamba bwanji. It was even sweet then until later when the power play matured. We just telling u kuti it’s too early not that we want them to fight nooo.

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