Mulanje South legislator Bon ‘Winiko’ Kalindo has said a movement with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) pursuadimg Vice President Saulos Chilima towards a presidential run under the DPP banner at the expense of incumbent Peter Mutharika will not retreat even though are facing threats of expulsion from the party.
“We will not leave DPP, but we will fight on to have Vice-President Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima to lead the party in the 2019 Tripartite Elections,” said Kalindo on Daybreak Malawi program monitored by Nyasa Times on Capital Radio on Tuesday.
Kalindo, who is among many DPP officials supporting proposals to have President Mutharika pave the way for Chilima, said their call for change of candidate is based on “research.”
He did not indicate the methodology of the research but stressed that “we have found out that for DPP to win, we should have a change of candidate and the person who can lead us to victory is Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima.”
Kalindo added: “We will persuade Chilima to contest for presidency but if DPP will maintain Mutharika, I can see MCP winning the elections.”
He dares what he called “crocodiles” in the DPP, referring the top brass, to fire him for his straight talk.
Mutharika has since expressed interest to represent the party again in next year’s elections, saying he will win with landslide.
But Kalindo said the DPP “crocodiles” were misleading the President on the situation on the ground.
“Those desiring to prolong Mutharika’s rule beyond 2019 are living a lie, on the ground people expect a new era,” he said. “There are many voices of discontent at the grassroots.”
The former First Lady Callista Mutharika was the first who touted the Chilima-for-President crusade under the DPP banner at the expense of incumbent Peter Mutharika—who is her brother in-law.
Callista argued that her in-law,79, is “aged”; hence, Malawians should not give him their vote and install Chilima,45, as President instead.
But on Saturday at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) on arrival from the United Kingdom where he had gone to attend a Commonwealth meeting, Mutharika rubisshed assertions that he is old to continue ruling the country, saying that is being propagated by “Judas Iscariots” who do not wish him and the DPP well.
He added: “These Judas Iscariots would like to give MCP the presidency on a silver platter. I will not allow that. That is why I say let us stop the betrayals, tiwanyenyanyenya, tiwapondaponda, tiwangonjetsa.”
The President called on the members in his party “to stop the habit of betrayal and aim at working together to build the party”.
Some senior DPP members, such as director of youth Louis Ngalande and deputy regional governor (North) Afiki Mbewe, Allan Ngumuya and Noel Masangwi have also come out in support of Callista’s sentiments.
But party national campaign director Jappie Mhango (Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure), deputy secretary general Grace Chiumia (Minister of Civic Education), regional governor (North) Kenneth Sanga and national governing council (NGC) member Khwauli Msiska say Mbewe is fired for openly supporting the Chilima-for-Presidency crusade.
Mbewe described his dismissal as illegal because he was duly elected during the 2014 convention unlike most of those who made the decision to fire him.
“We will not relent. I am Team Chilima all the way and will make sure he gets that position. They can in no way intimidate me,” the local press quoted him as saying.
Newspaper columnist Golden Matonga points out that DPP might ignore the voice of reason, now, because a change of guard means loss of top business contracts or jobs for people close to the President.
“But in a few months’ time, the elections will be a moment of truth of what Malawians think of APM (President Mutharika). Maybe DPP may win again the elections, thanks to whatever explanation. But, today, it is so obvious that the DPP has failed the aspirations of Malawians; failed to develop enough infrastructure, end the scourge of corruption, connect more Malawians to clean water, ease our perennial electricity crisis, build more schools, and pay workers a decent wage.
“Shamefully, DPP has failed to deliver the constitutional reforms it pledged and while for a while the Public Sector Reforms, then headed by Chilima, appeared like would be a success story, political considerations ended up messing that good programme, too. And save for being remembered as Bingu’s brother, history will struggle to remember this presidency. This plane has been on autopilot for some time,” Matonga wrote.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :