Mutharika, Chilima meet to discuss DPP ‘civil war’

President Peter Mutharika and Vice-President Saulos Klaus Chilima on Monday, May 28, 2018,  held a meeting at Hilltop Sanjika Palace in Blantyre amid a political stand-off between the two leaders.

President Mutharika and vice-president Saulo Chilima held talks at Sanjika

Details are still sketchy about what transpired during the presidential palace meeting  as there are conflicting theories about the agenda of the meeting with some speculating that the President summoned the Vice President to reprimand him for remarks he made at a Catholic Church event in Ntchisi on Saturday where he condemned “embarrassing levels” of  corruption in the public, which he said had negatively affected service delivery.

Another highly-placed source told Nyasa Times on Tuesday the VP was not “summoned” but he requested to meet the Head of State on his own accord.

“He asked for an audience with President Mutharika. The President accepted to meet him and they met behind closed doors for two hours from two o’clock in the afternoon. No one knows what they discussed because they were only the two of them in that meeting,” said a State House source.

Presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani was a little more guarded in his comment. He could only confirm the meeting took place but he could not divulge any information of who initiated it or what the agenda was.

However, one observer has suggested on social media that the VP and President Mutharika may have discussed some political ‘truce’ and that a deal may have been reached to normalize their relationship ahead of the crucial 2019 elections.

Political activist and former senior civil servant, Chikumbutso Mtumodzi, said such a ‘truce’ would be  serious betrayal on the part of the VP against “people with colourful political careers, with respect from all sides of society who have put their heads on the political chopping board for Chilima”.

And governance expert Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that it is misleading and not true on the part of the Veep to claim that corruption has reached  embarassing levels now “when in actual fact Malawians know deep down their heart that the current regime has romanced corruption from the very early days of its election into office.”

He said: “Where was the Veep when Malawians marched against Beam’s diverting of HIV/AIDS funds from NAC to activities that had nothing to do with HIV AIDs? Where was he when there was a cloud of suspicion over the sale of Malawi Savings Bank? Where was the Veep when the people’s electoral reforms were frustrated by the DPP government and some of its opposition cronies with the DPP later deciding to reward those MPs who rejected the reforms with the dubious K4 Billion? Is it not the Veep who two  years ago labelled the critics of government as not competent to comment on political or governance issues a statement which was condemned by CSOs and print media as a threat to freedom of expression?”

Early last month, Callista Mutharika, former First Lady and late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s widow publicly made a statement that Vice President Chilima was a suitable presidential candidate for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) against the incumbent Mutharika.

Callista Mutharika said that Mutharika is advanced in age and that Chilima is youthful and energetic to carry the party to greater heights and stir it to victory during the May 21, 2019 tripartite elections.

Since Callista’s declaration, two camps have emerged within the DPP with one supporting Chilima and the other one behind President Mutharika. Chilima has not publicly expressed desire to run for high office but looking at the rapid growth of the ‘Chilima movement’ and his veiled public sentiments, it is highly probable he has set his eyes on the highest job in the land.

But following the said meeting on Monday, Mtumodzi posted on social media on Tuesday that “this is a moment of truth as to who Chilima really is”.

Mtumodzi argued that those who have backed ‘Chilima Movement’ cannot go back into the DPP with him and their political careers will be destroyed.

“Secondly if he accepts this position,  has the corruption he condemned in front of one of the highest and most senior  leaders of the Catholic Church in Malawi,  the Archbishop Ziyaye just washed away overnight.  Is this a signature of approval by Chilima that in exchange for his VP convoy, then Malawian taxpayers can be robbed with impunity,” wrote Mtumodzi, without elaborating what position had been agreed to by the two leaders.

Mtumodzi claimed Chilima has been blackmailed with a dossier of what appears to be trump up charges to clip his political wings.

It is yet to be seen how this Chilima-Mutharika stand-off would be end but one thing is clear and that is the purported ‘owners’ of the party would not let Chilima come anywhere near the party’s presidency.

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#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

If he accepts to be running mate for Peter then it will be the beginning of the end Chilima’s political career. He will be spit out and sidelined after the elections. Even if he forms his own party after that, no one will ever take him seriously. It would be a huge tactical mistake to accept running mate position. That would be a trap.

Watematema Mutu
Guest

At times vote of sympathy is a good strategy. Chilima take this positively. It might work to your advantage!!!

KKG
Guest

We are tired of professionals who don’t have Malawians at heart, forget the tittle of their career, but feed their pockets and fear those who give them a threat of exposing their deeds, without considering those who voted for them in power, on situations they are going through in life. They don’t even have remose or favour, yet be courageous enough to mobilise youths to act babarically in their full eyes without condenming the acts, just to bring threat to those who want real democracy. Please help us God to see real democracy and light in 2019!!! I beg You!!!

mkandawire
Guest
mkandawire

mwana ndi mwanadi!!!!!! koma wapweteketsa fans-tu becouse most of the ppl thy political career is over now
becoz of that decosion.for his information APM will not partner with him come 2019

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

Even if Chilima agrees to partner with Peter, it will still be the end of Chilima. Once Peter wins next year Chilima will be sidelined like all the other VPs before him. By 2024 he will be finished unless he leaves DPP before 2024 but even then no one will take him seriously. He has made so many so many tactical errors.

aubster kacheche
Guest
aubster kacheche

tiyen tiyankhule nkhani osati ndioukila ngati kumpoto zimenezo zithe

LEGO
Guest

I don’t like your remarks about NORTHERNERS.I know you hate them because they are more educated than where you are coming from but lets talk a matter at hand

URIM AND THUMIM
Guest
URIM AND THUMIM

MALAWI HAS SUFFERED GREATLY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THESE TWO GUYS —WHY CAN’T THESE FAKE PROFESSORS AND FAKE DOCTORS JUST RESIGN PEACEFULLY SOMETIMES FOR GOODNESS SAKE ???

Bwande
Guest
Bwande

Chilima is realising that he has been fooled. When he criticised government on corruption the same people who were clapping hands and urging him to stand for DPP presidency are criticising him for being quiet the past 4 years. If Chilima jumps out of the DPP ship, he will face severe obstacles – DPP, MCP campaign plus criticism from the very people who were pretending to support him because all they wanted was to get him out of DPP. Once they have succeeded in doing that, they will turn the fire on him. That’s why he should never have listened… Read more »

jones
Guest
jones

Chilima ndiwoukila boma, paja anthu aku Ntcheu amakonda kukhala zigawenga, alingati a kumpoto.

Kunena Mosapsyatila
Guest
Kunena Mosapsyatila

Fool. You are enjoying democracy today who do you think brought it for you. Was it not the brave sons of the North? Umbuli ndi matenda!!!! When someone is brave enough to point fingers at what is wrong in the govt, then you say akuwukira boma: that is ubulutu at its best.

We are not passive and embiciles being remote controlled by the notion kuti timavotera wakwathu and at the end of the day

malume
Guest
malume

Jones mwaonetselatu kuti mulibe nzeru

Nthawi
Guest
Nthawi

this does not make sense. please give us a point boss.

Vison
Guest
Vison

Kodi adapha Ngaunju ndi Chasowa ndi aku mpoto? uzinena ngati kuti ukuyankhulila ku kamwa.

Mas ter
Guest
Mas ter

VP should be reminded that Malawian heard him promising at running mate interviews at BCC that he will not be mislead to differ and turn against the person who has taken him from far If anything he will try to sit down and settle the differences God also heard him

Khowoni
Guest
Khowoni

Whichever way the VP does not seem to be an easy candidate to sell. He has not proven himself he can be trusted. He has not spoken when everybody expected him to do so. That is for the entire 4 years gone by. Now he sees the elections some 11 months away and he is awakened to the truth that he should have spoken. But then, that is what can only do in riddles and in the church where people ought to be built on the gospel and only the gospel. But even putting that aside…my question is why did… Read more »

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