Ties that bind Chakwera and Chilima: Tonse leader says ‘no one-term Malawi president’

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and Tonse Alliance presidential torchbearer Lazarus Chakwera has said he would not be in power for only five years of his first term, saying the alliance will be reviewing the contents of their partnership if he win the fresh election due this June.

Chakwera: We have not agreed on the composition of Tonse government and my Cabinet

Chakwera was speaking on Times Television on Sunday in a programme titled  ‘Times Special’.

In the interview programme, host Brian Banda asked MCP leader to clarify on speculations that the deal with his running mate Saulos Chilima, the country’s estranged Vice-President—who is also UTM Party president— means there is rotational leadership arrangement and that he would succeed him after his term expires in 2025 even though he would be allowed by the Constitution to seek fresh mandate.

In a public rally last week at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre, Chilima said he would be the alliance’s next presidential candidate after Chakwera in line with their rotational leadership arrangement, assuing MCP president wins the election.

During the recorded interview, Banda asked Chakwera if he is going to be a “one-term president.”

In his response, Chakwera–a cleric who served as Malawi Assemblies of God president before joining frontline politics in 2013– said: “That’s not true and nobody has said that.”

He said it has not been decided when he would step down, but pointed out that it is not a question of “if” he wins but “when he wins.”

Chakwera said together with Chilima, they have “strengths that we can complement each other in serving Malawians.”

He added: “We form a synergy that will truly serve Malawi.”

However, the MCP presidential hopeful said they will be reviewing the terms of the Tonse Alliance deal.

“Whats is a problem serving one term and what is a problem not serving one term,” said Chakwera.

“We must focus in making sure that Malawians get served,” he added.

Banda also asked Chakwera on speculations that the nine-party Tonse Alliance have already shared posts particularly the  Cabinet positions and that it will be a power-sharing government with Chilima.

He denied such assertions.

Put to him that Chilima already disclosed during the  public rally that  sesides being Vice-President, he will also serve as minister of Finance, Chakwera said the UTM leader was merely expressing his interest and its not a done deal.

“Dr Chilima and I will sit down and work out things when time comes. He has a right to express his interest,” he said.

Pressed on whether they two discussed about Chilima being the country’s purse keeper, Chakwera said “we haven’t.”

But he said Chilima’s skills have been grossly under-utilised by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration led by President Peter Mutharika.

“I am saying we will use him where he is best suited,” said Chakwera, highlighting that Chilima is an asset and that he would enact laws that empowers the office of the Vice President within the first 90 days of his tenure.

He continued: “You must remember that a vice president is part of Cabinet. You cannot say I will be this, forever. So if I express that desire, there is nothing wrong with that.”

Chakwera said if he ascends to power in the fresh presidential elctions, his administration is not going to be a one-man show or two-man show, saying they will do consultations.

“We want to work so closely together to serve because that has been my modus operandi in my ministry life,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera said he does not intend to concentrate power within the presidency, rather, he would create and power State systems to ensure that government agencies function in a way that drives the State forward “regardless of whoever is leader at any given time.”

The MCP presidential hopeful said his  philosophy of leadership is the one that serves the people.

“I am going to  be the President that serves people, listens to peoples’ cries, aspirations and people’s problems and tries his best to solve those by service,” he said.

Chakwera also said he will ensure to unite the country which he observed is currently divided

He also said he is going to be “a president that will not smile at corruption”

And he will “respect the rule of the law.”

Chakwera further said he would strive to create strong institutions that will support the State.

Tonse Alliance comprises nine parties including support from human rights activist-turned-politician Timothy Mtambo who is leading Citizens for Transformation Movement.

Observers say Chilima will turn out to be the power behind the throne, controlling the government from the shadows. The reality will probably lie somewhere in between.

Others suggest that political figures close to Chakwera will be unwilling to share power with Chilima’s team, and so will do whatever they can to prevent the Tonse agreement from being enforced. But although there is an element of truth to both assumptions, they are nonetheless misleading.

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Lazuras chilima
Guest

ndipo kukhala kukhapana zikwanje pakati pa UTM /MCP anthu amenewa ndi virombo virombo

Abiti Madeya
Guest

Koma kumekooooooooooooooooooooo! Ife timanena kuti moto mdambomo!!!

Alliance ya naligonkhwiro, analimata, a bongololo, ananchidwe, nkhunguni zonse momwemo? Kodi mark katsonga akutaniko kumeneko, nanga Kamuzu Chbambo, John chisi? amenewo ndi analigonkhwiro ndikunenawo

Zagwa zatha
Guest

Mmmmm this is very Bad SCk anaiwonera Patali game akuti tikapha gwape ndi tenge mwendo anadziwa pazamvuta Somoli kkkkkkkkkkkkk

mwini mphale
Guest
mwini mphale

How did Chilima convince Chakwera about 1million jobs and reducing fertilizer to 4500? last years these people were disputing this point. Congress sikudziwa komwe ikupita.

DKC 2000
Guest
DKC 2000

Those who know Chakwera very well know that he cant accept to be president for only 5 years. Even 10 years will not satisfy him. He clung to the presidency of the Assemblies of God for 24 years by suppressing all potential candidates. He is still MCP president today after shoving to political oblivion, all the bright MCP members especially those who had ambitions to be party presidents. People like Jumbe, Kaliwo, Njovuyalema, Kabwira, Daza….etc were eliminated by Chakwera because they were a threat to his presidency. If he gets the State Presidency, SKC will be eliminated and he will… Read more »

Chacha
Guest
Chacha

Chakwera was imposed as leader of MCP by John Tembo (the mastermind of MCP killings). Tembo had to pluck Chakwera from church because they are related.

Mofolo
Guest
Mofolo

Genesis 11 v.1-9 the builders of the tower of Babel are being scattered. They can no longer speak the same language.

Wiza
Guest
Wiza

Koma boma lichokebe ku DPP. Atikwana. Zinazo adzakambirana

Zio ine
Guest
Zio ine

Chilima is being backstabbed now. We told him that he is in a den of lions and they are going to devour him. Apa mwanayu yamulakwira. The goodness with MCP decision are made by MCP not Chakwera and as things stand Chilima is just a guest of Chakwera and the party has nothing to do with him..Chilima should forget when Chakwera says they will discuss once they get there and if they would not agree they will just ignore him. After all his face was not on the ballot neither was his party symbol

Omex70
Guest
Omex70

macadet zikukuwawani mukamaona mngwirizano wa tonse. Koma mwauponda kwabasi. Mukutulukabe mboama chaka chino. DPP yatopesa kwambiri

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

Chilima is the Future President of the Alliance like Atupele is the Future President of the DPP Alliance….Any Problem there ? Our Focus Now is to Elect the Right People who will Change Malawi.Just look around You, Zambia ,Mozambique,Tanzania ma Neba Zinthu Zitoyenda….It’s Never Decided Until the Right Time to Announce it ….Remember that ….

good
Guest
good

Mwagwa nayo. These people can’t work together

Chikondi tambala
Guest
Chikondi tambala

That’s true but zoyamba kukangana asanawine si bho

Duga
Guest
Duga

Let UTM members accept, Chilima wagwa nayo.

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