Mutharika eyes Chilima as runningmate

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika is considering picking Airtel Malawi managing director Saulos Chilima  for the position of his running mate in the 2014 presidential elections, Nyasa Times understands.

Mutharika said he has been scrutinising eight names for the position. He did not name the possible choice.

But sources close the DPP president said in the so called ‘Veep stakes’, attention is turning to  40-year-old Chilima who could potentially deliver the all-important youth vote.

Chilima: Valentines Ball for Amecea
Chilima: Valentines Ball for Amecea

Mutharika said he wants to give people a running mate who will be suitable for the presidency.

The DPP president said he will partner with a “reliable” and “productive” running mate who he said can take control of State affairs in his absence if voted into power.

Asked by Nyasa Times if he has been approached for running mate, Chilima kept his comments close to the chest, only saying he was “flattered” with his name being linked to that.

Chilima is the first Malawian to head Airtel, the leading mobile telecommunications company in Malawi.

He held senior sales and marketing positions in banking and the fast-moving consumer goods sectors, namely the Leasing and Finance Company, Unilever Malawi, Coca Cola and Carlsberg before joining the telecommunications field.

Politics not new to Chilima as he is one of the youths who also played a pivotal role in championing multi-party democracy when he was  president of students union at Chancellor College.

Chilima holds a Master’s degree in Economics and is currently reading towards a PhD in Business Management with the University of Bolton.

A devout Catholic with church leadership positions,  Chilima is a Ngoni from Ntcheu, married to Mary and have two children.

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