Malawi VP Saulos Chilima’s brave new world

Increasingly, it is becoming clear that Vice-President Saulos Chilima does not have the luxury of infinite time.

This is the direction: Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe show the way to Vice President Saulos Chilima

President Peter Mutharika confers with the Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima

The temperature is rising and he is going to have to show his hand, sooner rather than later.

He is going to demonstrate that he wants it all-more than anyone else-or, like United Democratic Front (UDF) youthful president Atupele Muluzi (now Minister of Health) before him, the wave of optimism will slowly die a frustrating death and he may end up with nothing and his supporters will be left not knowing which way to turn.

Some might argue that it makes no difference whether he speaks now, or later.

But this is a distinction with a huge difference.

There is now a very public movement within the governing Democratic Progress Party (DPP)- thanks to Calista Mutharika’s assertion that President Peter Mutharika is too old to seek re-election in May next year and outside of the DPP rooting for him.

There is no reason to believe that the Vice-President himself does not want the top job in 2019.

So, what is he waiting for?

The ultimate prize will not be handed to him, one way or the other. He has to make a credible brave claim for it—or it will go to others, the likes of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera, who are not ambivalent about their intentions.

The saying goes that a man who hangs around a beautiful girl without declaring his intentions will end up fetching water for guests at her wedding.

While the nation expects the Vice-President to be brave in declaring his intentions, the mission to remake Malawi cannot be, and should not be, Chilima’s alone.

Without doubt, the renaissance Malawians seek needs bold messengers to carry forward the flame of renewal, of hope, of a brandnew beginning for country and for self.

Which begs the question: Are former Cabinet minister Patricia Kaliati, DPP youth wing leader Louis Ngalande, national governing council (NGC) member Noel Masangwi and Mulanje South legislator Bon Kalindo in Chilima’s corner because they truly believe in the value proposition of him as Malawi’s next leader or is it only because they were left out of the DPP gravy train?

In politics, it is usually a convergence of interests that matter far more than a meeting of ideas and ideals.

But it is important that this converge of interests is not championed by the bitter, the unguided and the tainted.

There are reasons why a lion ostracised from its pride is never truly accepted among a herd of buffaloes.

For one, the buffaloes know that all they eat is grass, so what will the lion be eating.

Kaliati, Ngalande, Masangwi and company are all welcome in the ranks of the fighters, but they are poor ambassadors of Chilima’s message of regeneration.

The church would make excellent ambassadors of this message. The established church has to start speaking, not in cryptic obscure parables, but in specifics. The church should play its role and guide the people to a leader who will do good by Malawi, for Malawi.

A country whose president is captured by thieves and tribalists puts all of us on a dangerous highway to hell.

The church knows this and there is no reason why it should not be calling this out.

The church should unapologetically point out who among these people is the best candidate for a better Malawi.

The student movement—for far too long a derided and peripheral voice reduced to fighting for soup and bones on campus—has to rise up and take its rightful place in setting the agenda and directing the critical national discourse.

In the absence of that, the Malawi that will be bequeathed them is one of tattered dreams. A serious student movement, not a bunch of senile drunks, should critically discern the values of those it coalesces around.

Anyone who seduces students by plying them with cheap alcohol and small pennies is complicit in the erosion of the agency of the student movement and should be rejected by both students and everyone else with utter contempt.

The student movement should be a vibrant marketplace of novel ideas for now and for the future, and not act as guns-for-hire that spew senseless vitriol in nonsensical epistles brought forth by effects of Chibuku, drunken bus rides, K20 000 and free T-shirts.

Captains of industry, too, must speak. Oftentimes, the industry is timid and plays safe.

Capital prefers stability to disruption, profit over protest. But even they must now know that Malawi will have to be reset before it begins to be functional again and conducive for small and large businesses to flourish.

For those who will volunteer to carry Chilima’s message, the road ahead is going to be very bumpy and, quite possibly, treacherous.

What happened at Parliament during the President’s State of the Nation Address is a frightening reminder of how dangerous the undisciplined DPP motley crew is.

They will resort to threats, to violence and intimidation with no fear of prosecution. To them, it’s not about superior logic and superior ideas on what is best for Malawi.

To them, it is about raw power. Power to have and power to perpetuate corruption and mismanagement and tribalism and cronyism.

Malawi should be rescued from these ruffians.

The country was waiting to see the reaction of President Mutharika to the utter disrespect he suffered in Parliament at the hands of his own goons.

The result was sad to see. He did nothing. With overwhelming evidence of gross mischief right in front of him, he feigned it did not happen. Mutharika appears too tired to do anything for Malawi and too tired to do anything against those destroying Malawi.

History will record that the man who once banged on a table in anger and thundered: “this nonsense must stop” is the most nonsense-tolerating President Malawi has had.

How about that for irony?

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Biggi Saj
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Biggi Saj

Wow! at least there are some among us who are seeing things not just as they are, but where they are going as measured with where they are supposed to go…..

Kapanda Mulata
Guest
Kapanda Mulata

Do Malawians want BWANA CHILIMA to be the next President because HE is the VICE PRESIDENT? Or because he is in DPP? Or because HE is DR CHILIMA? How unique is HE that PEOPLE of MALAWI want him than some other YOUNG LEADERS in some political parties? Do MALAWIANS want CHILIMA because he is in DPP? Do we want DR CHILIMA or DPP? If we want BWANA CHILIMA, then let HIM form his own PARTY and MALAWIANS will follow HIM. Stop bringing confusion in the PARTY!! Please! remember, there is GOD. Don’t forget that.

Odala
Guest
Odala

Chakwera ndi deal! Chilima is watching and his eyes are awake, wide open seeing his brother APM and Chaponda stealing from the gvt coffer. What has he done?? Chilima will never win, he is just clever

Thitherward
Guest
Thitherward

Inadequate, ineffective leaders always value loyalty over competence. Their subordinates know this. That is why the President’s least competent cronies are his most loyal. They know that their political survival depends on their leader’s clinging to power. The problem facing VP Chilima is this: where can he find competent subordinates? The rats have already gnawed most of the contents of the parliamentary cupboard. Perhaps he needs to look outside politics. He was, himself, brought in from outside to introduce business competence and innovation. Perhaps he needs to consult his network of business and commercial comrades and colleagues, and persuade some… Read more »

Uyo Munkhungu
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Uyo Munkhungu

Nothing Chilima has done, said, articulated makes him stand in the ranks of the Julius Malemas of this world. Very possible his intellect is also suspect, full of mediocrity, like the incumbent!

Keen Observer
Guest
Keen Observer

This is a well put article that I was feeling tired to finish but I couldn’t have managed to leave it b4 finishing it. Every phrase, sentence & chapter just speak the actual truth happening on the ground. Bravo!!!! I have got nothing against Chakwera but I think Chilima is what Malawi needs at this point in time.

Generation X
Guest
Generation X

I agree with you. The pressure is indeed not on him. Why don’t we ask the former first lady to clarify on all the assertions on why she thinks Chilima should take over from Mutharika. I do not think that Callista’s assertion should be taken lightly. First of all, who can be more close to the president than his in-law. Second, Callista knows Peter’s behavior more than you and me because she is also the Presidential Advisor. As of know, Callista just opened the discussion to the political party to make an assessment and decide for itself. Chilima’s position is… Read more »

Chayamba
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Chayamba

Chilungas message is well articulated. He has a very big point. Kudos to u.

Chilunga
Guest
Chilunga

Political parties in Malawi have no clear ideologies and Ngongoliwa has summed it up this morning in another article in which he says its about Lomwez voting for DPP, Yaos for UDF and Chewaz for MCP. Now Ngonis for …WHAT? Chilima is the the best option for Malawi amongst the many but i think he is safe staying quite because he knows that if he speaks now all the vultures will take the fight to him. And we all know how dirty it is. This fight needs to be fought with a combination of psychology and politics. And this is… Read more »

#DzukaniAmalawi
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#DzukaniAmalawi

Politics has never favoured the quite! Politics I am afraid is a loud game

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

The Malawi political situation mirrors that of South Africa. They had Jacob Zuma who was captured by thieves and tribalists (Zulu people). The same is the case with Peter. RSA was tanking and foreign investment was drying rapidly as consumer and investor confidence was at all time low; the situation mirrors Malawi’s economic situation. In RSA unemployment especially amongst the youth is at all time high and so is in Malawi. Needless to say, Zuma is no more and is facing a barrage of criminal charges which may lead him to jail time (sooner rather than later). Those who plundered… Read more »

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