Mind the gap, Malawi President, VP in sour relationship: For Mutharika’s vice-presidency is a poisoned chalice

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is all out to fight Vice President Saulos Chilima  souring the relationship between Chilima and his boss, President Peter Mutharika with gossip galaroe with prominent Chancellor College-based political analyst, Boniface Dulani  saying  greed and hunger for positions  is punctuating DPP politics.

Mind the gap: President Mutharika and vice president Chilima

Mind the gap: President Mutharika and vice president Chilima

Mutharika is said to have been filled with a lot of gossips that while he is under medical operation in United State of Malawi, politicians in DPP including some Cabinet Ministers were aligning themselves with Vice President Chilima, incase Mutharika was going to be incapacitated.

The President  has said publicly thatt some members of his party were busy sharing cabinet positions, saying he now knowa that he was surrounded by some Pharisees and Judas Iscariots because  “some people here were busy planning for my state funeral. The day I die, I will let you know. I will call you and let you know that I am now dead.”

And on Saturday, Malawi News report  analysed what happened last Sunday  at a political rally by DPP at Masintha ground in Lilongwe when President Mutharika called to the podium some cabinet ministers to explain issues related to public service reforms in their ministries but ignored Chilima.

Chilima is chairing the Public Sector Reforms Commission and he was present at the rally but Mutharika did not invite him to say anything on the matter, a gesture is seen to augment the position of sources that all is not well between the two, Malawi News reported.

The paper citing source in DPP claim that there is fricting between Mutharika and Chilima apparently after the President has been fed with a lot of gossips within the system.

niversity of Malawi’s Chancellor College political analyst Dulani  argues that most of DPP  top brass are not following the ideologies of the party but following Mutharika because he has power.

“That reflects that party loyalty is very fickle. It shows that people follow not because of the party’s ideologies but individuals for survival. People will always fight to be where power is,” said Dulani.

“That shows that there are divisions in the party. Things are not ok in the party because if the people were following ideologies, it would not matter to them if the president was in hospital or had passed on,” said Dulani.

Executive Director for Church and Society of the Livingstonia Synod Moses Mkandawire concurred with Dulani that there could be divisions in the party and added that greed has also taken centre stage among the members.

“There are some people who are too greedy thinking of their own survival. They are not there to serve the interests of Malawians,” said Mkandawire.

But in Malawi News, Vice President Chilima downplayed the sour relationship with President Mutharika, saying: “My comment is that it sounds to be a wrong observation. Thank you.”

DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila was also coy to comment on the sour relationship between Mutharika and Chilima created by gossipers including state spies.

“I do not want to discuss personal issues between my two leaders,” he said.

Mutharika picked Chilima from the private sector to be his runningmate in the 2014 elections and most DPP gurus regard him a rank outsider.

Danwood Chirwa, a professor of law at the University of Cape Town in South Africa,  explains that the direct election of the president and vice-president is not only relevant to the relationship between the two and Parliament; it is also relevant to the important question of succession. If the president dies, becomes incapacitated or is impeached, the vice president is constitutionally expected to ascend to the presidency.

“This arrangement is itself rooted in direct democracy. According to our constitutional scheme, the person who holds the highest political office in the land has to have direct electoral support. One cannot just ascend to that office via a process controlled by elected representatives in Parliament,” he argues.

Mutharika’s elder brother, late president Bingu wa Mutharika had also bad relationship with his vice presidents, starting with Cassim Chilumpha who he accused of plotting to kill him and then Joyce Banda when she refused to support his plans to make his brother Peter Mutharika the President when he came to the end of his term in 2014.

Banda was kicked out of DPP but could not be dismissed from government. She was subjected to a campaign of abuse and was dismissed by Mutharika’s widow, Callista, as nothing more than a market woman. “How can a mandasi (fried cakes) seller become president?” she scoffed.

Now history is repeating itself as now its Chilima’s turn to be dumped .

“The reason why Malawian presidents have tended to marginalise their vice presidents has to do with attempts to domesticate the presidency. Once elected, Malawian presidents tend to think that the office of the president is family property that can be bequeathed to their brothers, sisters, children or other relatives,” noted law scholar Chirwa.

“This mindset goes against the fundamentals of our Constitution. The president has to have direct electoral legitimacy, but a lawfully elected president has no constitutional power to decide for the country who should succeed him. The person elected together with him or her is guaranteed to succeed, and that is because the electorate knew beforehand that this was a possibility,” he added.

Chirwa argues that the  issue of in-term succession is fixed and closed by the Constitution.

“The issue of post-term succession relies solely on the electorate. There is no need to fear the vice-president,” he argues.

But Chilima is sitting on the time bomb in DPP, with speculations rife that there are several plots to eliminate him including assassination.

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Wowerengawe khala maso. Welengani Mateyu 18:7 ngati sindinatembenuze Mateyu 18:7 pamene akunena kuti Tsoka liri ndi dziko lapansi chifukwa cha zokhumudwitsa kome zokhumudwitsazo sizilephera kudza koma tsoka liri ndi munthu yemwe chokhumudwitsacho chidza ndi iye. Anthu olembanu muzidziwa kuti nkhani zina ndizoshonkhezera ntopola kuti anthu ayambane kapena kuphana. Zimenezi ndiso zokhumudwitsazo koma tsoka liri pamtu pa wodzetsa chokhumudwitsacho. Kodi pamaso pa Mulungu tidzayankhanji tikapangitsa anthu kuti aphane/ayambane?

SMalawians Malawians how sleepy can u be? Why don’t u believe this. Have u not seen this before? Do u think it is coming from no where? Or is it first time in Malawi? It started with Bakili, Bingu and even JB. Call this as Màlawi VP syndrome. There is no country in Africa they do this. Where they dump VP. But in Malawi they do. Do u think Chaponda would like to see Chilima be a president? Peter is surrounded of evil greedy people. The only way to eliminate this is to kill DDP by votes 2019. It s… Read more »

mr chilima one day will endup joining mcp am telling you. that man is interigent i wonder why he joined dpp the fools


koma Ku Malawi kwayakadi moto iyaaaaaaaaaaa pulezidenti wanuyi rsk


kodi mufuna anthuwa ayambane?. Chamba eti, opposition yakulipirani anyasa? 2019 APM+SKC BOMA, Asafuna afuna.


Akuyambana okha amenewo don’t hate nyasatimes you dpp chipani chopanda tsogolo.

J. B. C Atate

I suggest you should search for tangible evidence to substantiate your claim. You can not base your conclusion on that Masintha incident. If the issues that were to be reported directly involved the ministries in question, wouldn’t it be wrong as well to expect Chilima to report on those issues when the responsible ministers were around?? What I have observed is that you are just trying to connect trivial issues to make your point.

koma abale inu eeh

Ridiculous! APM should ignore gossipers, or have them tell him the “news” in front of the target, as suggested by Chambe. Equally effective, APM should stop gossipers in their tracks, as soon as they start telling him stuff: I have employed this strategy and it is effective. If the gossiper doesn’t learn a lesson then, get him/her to face the victim of the gossip.
Our country has serious problems, and it is painful for us to be wasting time on issues like this.

Zamabodza mumvera from Nyasatimes
Zamabodza mumvera from Nyasatimes

When the DPP was in opposition, I once heard APM say that DPP members azikondana,asamajedane ndiposo asiye miseche.He went further to say if a gossiper came to him to gossip about someone he would chase him away.My question is has APM eaten his words?

George Madondo

Nyasatimes as much we do love you,zinazi zodzutsa mapiri pa chigwa

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