Mutharika wants Chimulirenji not to emulate the way of failed VPs before him

Since the advent of multiparty democracy in Malawi in 1994, the relationship between President and vice has always not been good. Bakili Muluzi was the first multiparty President in 1994. He served his constitutional two five-year terms and paved way (after an unsuccessful third term bid) for the late Bingu wa Mutharika in 2004. Halfway through his second term in 2012, Mutharika (Bingu) died in office and his estranged vice, Joyce Banda, succeeded him as provide for in the Republican Constitution.

Malawi vice president, Evertone Chimulirenji, replaced Saulos Chilima, who finished third in the May 21, 2019 elections.

Joyce Banda was voted out of office in 2014 presidential polls. Malawians opted for Peter Mutharika, instead. Mutharika went on to win a second term in May 2019.

Muluzi had Justin Malewezi as his Vice President; Bingu had Cassim Chilumpha during his first term and opted for a woman, Joyce Banda, in his second term. During the brief period Banda was Head of State, she had appointed Khumbo Kachali as her Vice President. In his first term from 2014, Peter Mutharika worked with Saulos Klaus Chilima as Vice and later in 2019, he chose the little known Everton Chimulirenji to be Vice President.

All the presidents and vice presidents have ended up becoming enemies within their terms but more especially towards the end of their terms of office.

It seems the underlying cause of these fallouts has been suspicion, whether real or imagined, by the Head of State that their vice has presidential ambitions, especially when the Constitution provides that in case of death or incapacitation of the President, the Vice President takes over the mantle. So, Vice Presidents are always viewed as plotting behind the scenes to topple to take over power.

However, the problem is exacerbated by the tendency of Vice Presidents to grow wings; becoming increasingly egoistic to the level where they actually forget that they were merely handpicked by the President to be running mate during elections. Indeed, Vice Presidents show signs that they no longer want to be ‘captives’ to the President’s whims.

A case in point is that of Saulos Klaus Chilima who was a political novice in 2014 when Peter Mutharika defied all criticism and chose the private sector executive to be his running mate. The duo went on to win the presidential polls but barely halfway through their term, signs of animosity emerged.

The political grapevine had it that Chilima was planning to oust President Mutharika and become the governing DPP’s torchbearer in the 2019 elections. He was alleged to have been forming parallel party structures through which to achieve his goal.

On April 5, 2018, Callista Mutharika, former First Lady and late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s widow, stunned Malawians and the world when she publicly threw her weight behind Chilima as a suitable presidential candidate for the ruling DPP President Mutharika. Callista Mutharika said that President Mutharika was 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.

Callista Mutharika’s sentiments had created divisions within the ruling party, with some few senior members of the party openly supporting the proposed Chilima candidature while many others have said they want the President to continue.

But the core DPP membership could not have any of Chilima’s machinations. They strongly rallied behind APM, as he is fondly referred to by the DPP faithful. This forced Chilima announce he was withdrawing his DPP membership and later formed and registered his own political party, UTM.

Chilima and UTM contested in the last May’s polls. In the presidential contest, Chilima came third behind the incumbent President Mutharika and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential candidate, Lazarus Chakwera. In the parliamentary contest, UTM only miserably managed only four (4) seats out of 193.

Fast forward, September 8, 2019, President Mutharika seemingly went to town on his ‘quiet and disciplined’ Vice President, Everton Herbert Chimulirenji. At a public political rally held in Nsanje, President Mutharika “reminded the VP that he was a mere Vice President and not the President”.

As expected, there have been various interpretations of the President’s sentiments. Some people have accused the President of undermining and demeaning the VP in public; attempting to prevent him from harboring any leadership ambitions because, apparently the President has his own favorite candidates. They include Ben Phiri,  Henry Mussa, Brown Mpinganjira, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Nicholas Dausi, Joseph Mwanamveka, Bright Msaka and Dalitso Kabambe. Others allege that the VP is indeed building his own political momentum ahead of 2024 and that he, like Chilima, is creating parallel party structures to support his 2024 bid.

The President is serving his second and final term. It is obvious he has no business protecting his position now from an ambitious VP. There was no need to read too much into the President’s sentiments about the role of the VP. Actually, that was not the first time he has made such an observation.

When President Mutharika and VP Chimulirenji presented their nomination papers to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in February ahead of the polls in May, he made similar sentiments.

The sentiments in Nsanje on that Sunday September morning were merely a fatherly and friendly advice to VP Chimulirenji to prevent him from falling in the typical path of former Vice Presidents before him. President Mutharika is a complete statesman and admirably experienced at leadership. Typical of a good leader, President Mutharika reminded the Vice President that his is a delegated office.

It was President Mutharika’s selfless gesture to ensure that the VP does not fall in the typical trap of assuming that ‘he has arrived’ and that he was power onto himself.

APM duly commended the VP for representing him (APM) and the nation well in Tanzania and Japan at SADC and TICAD summits, respectively.

The President manifestly values the contribution that VP Chimulirenji makes as Vice President of the Republic and would want to encourage him to remain in that position and sustain the positive relationship that the two have enjoyed so far, with the common objective of uplifting Malawians out of the jaws of poverty. APM obviously wants VP Chimulirenji to last in that office and not to emulate the way of failed Vice Presidents before him.

As stated above, Chilima was comfortable in that same VP position and had the whole future before him. However, he grew big-headed, thinking that he can take over government based on what a few friends told him about power. Today, he is just a mere commoner, walking in the sidewalk of power and desperately trying to attract attention to no avail!

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Natty Prince
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Natty Prince

Amalawi tasiyani zomanyozana mitundu tonse ndi Amalawi tizingopereka maganizo anthu pa khani mmene yalembedwera koma zonyoza mitundu sizabwino atsogoleri opanda nzeru amapezera mwayi opitiliza chitidwe wawo monga kuba kupha kuopsyeza wathu tizichedwa nazo izi mmalo mokonza vutu lenileni chonde zamitunduzi talekani

Winston Msowoya
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Winston Msowoya

MIKE,I HAVE NO TIME TO WASTE WITH UNEDUCATED GUILE.

Nafe
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Nafe

The article is an excellent defence for APM. It compromises for me journalistic objective interpretation and it thinks for the President. That dilutes the calibre for which I knew Nyasa Times. It has become for me a tool, mouthpiece and instrument for tyranny. It is a hand crapper. When done professionally it’s not bad. But when done with intent, it destroys the mission of journalism. The article ought to be revisited by the editor for pauses and full stops.

THE APOSTLE
Guest

THE STORY OF OUR VICE PRESIDENT HON. CHIMULIRENJI IS LIKE THAT OF KING SAUL AND DAVID. KING SAUL TREATED DAVID TO A LEVEL OF PLANNING TO SLAUGHTERING HIM LIKE A CHICKEN. GOD ELEVATED DAVID HE BECAME THE MOST POWERFUL KING IN THE ENTIRE NATION AND THE MOST FEARED ONE. MY FELLOW MALAWIANS, HON. CHIMULIRENJI HAS BEEN GIVEN SO MANY NAMES BY THE SO CALLED LEARNED PEOPLE IN MALAWI INCLUDING THE DPP EXECUTIVE MEMBERS BUT HEEEY LET ME TELL YOU HERE: GOD QUALIFIES THE UNQUALIFIED AND THE RULE OVER GOD’S PEOPLE NOT BECAUSE OF THE DEGREE OR PHDS BUT GOD’S GRACE… Read more »

Chejumo
Guest
Chejumo

Ben phiri the DPP lomwe will take over after Peter mthalika’s five term of presidency DPP motooo buuuuh alomwe howe amalawi mumva kuwawa manyasa osazindikila ngati inu chilichonse yes bwana

Vinjenje
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Vinjenje

What is this story all about ?

HRLGBT/LGBTIQ
Guest
HRLGBT/LGBTIQ

Mphunzitsi watsankho na mMalawimuno ndie chigawo chakumpoto,ndi ana omwe amakula akudziwa. LELO NDIE APATSOGOLO PAMA DEMO AKUTI KUFUNA CHILUNGAMO

TOSH
Guest

AM AN MCP FAN, PITALA SHOULD NOT TAKE CHIMULIRENJI LIKE PUPPET ANTHU OTELEWA AMAKHALA OWOPSA AKHOZA KUPANGA ZINTHU ZAKUTI ANTHU SAMAYEMBEKEZERA

GRM
Guest
GRM

They will be surprised if they are to remove the Ngoni from Ntcheu. No matter what happens in 2024, one person from Ntchieu will be president of this country.

Winston Msowoya
Guest
Winston Msowoya

Chimulirenji looks like an old Baboon with no brains in his head and this is a blow to Malawians.Nobody would believe that this Chimpanzee is a Vice President of a nation.Mathanyula,this means that there are no Malawians in the whole country with good looking and brilliantly looking.It means all Malawian men look like your Vice President? CRY BELOVED MALAWi.What If he goes to represent Malawians abroad what explanation you will tell the welcoming government senior staff? Indeed,it is not the MALAWI I used to know.Once again,Malawians unite to boot out this thug you voted for once and for all.

Mbusiyeni Muthembi
Guest
Mbusiyeni Muthembi

Regardless of the fact that you have made a meaningful point am not happy with the way you have described Chimulirenji. He is a human being like you, and one could also describe one of your relations in the same manner you have done with Chimulirenji…….ine ndi wa UTM

Mike
Guest

Kodi a Wisnton Msowoya ku mpoto kuli athu owoneka bwino???. Mbuzi ya chitumbuka iyi isatinyase. Athu wokuda ngati ku matako. Mxiiiii

Mr Truth Pains
Guest

Iwe ndiye Mbudzi inatso ngati Winston Msowoya, am not from the North but I hate kunenana mitundu.

phillips wanga
Guest
phillips wanga

putrid blue color all over your body,not utm as you put it.

phillips wanga
Guest
phillips wanga

putrid blue nigger you don’t belong to the said grouping.

Mr Truth Pains
Guest

Fact indeed my man munthembi

Nafe
Guest
Nafe

Very sad Sir. This is inhuman and speaks volumes about yourself. Sorry!