UTM Party led by state vice president, Dr Saulos Chilima is alleged to have given the Malawi Congress Party hierarchy to meet its fair share of representation or risk breaking away, it has been reported.
The widening gulf between the two parties seem to have reached irreparable levels, only surviving because President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima agree on the bigger mandate given to them by the citizens who wanted change badly. Their agreement and unity of purpose is displayed openly in public.
Recently, Chilima, while on development projects tour in Karonga, tackled the issue of disunity in the MCP dominated Tonse Alliance.
He said: “Let us remain united. This is not time for squabbles or political campaigns. This is the time to deliver our promises to the people, including providing loans and jobs and reducing the prices of passports. I want to ask that the alliance should move on united.”
A respected British fortnightly newsletter, Africa Confidential, whose reports and analyses are valued and relied upon by a wide range of influential organizations and individuals, says ‘UTM has given an ultimatum to MCP to meet its demands by 19 June or break away.’
The African Confidential in its Volume 62 No 11 reports: “The UTM has given the MCP until 19 June, we hear, to meet its demands for better representation or they will leave the governing alliance.
“To be arguing over appointments to top jobs this long after the election is not a good look for either coalition partner, each of which accuses the other of hogging the best jobs. Much sought-after diplomatic appointments are being held up, and leaked documents indicate that most of the plum jobs are going to MCP allies.”
President Chakwera promised to release a new cabinet following assessments but that promise remains unfulfilled. It is noted that it’s the President’s prerogative to appoint and fire his cabinet but when statements are made to the citizens, a lack of fulfilment without plausible explanation become lies.
Some social commentators believe President Chakwera is struggling to appoint a new Cabinet after UTM made its demands that stopped the announcement after the President Press Secretary had publicly stated such cabinet was to be released within 48 hours.
“UTM need a fair share of appointments into senior cabinet posts, embassies, parastatal and other key government departments. We have brilliant vibrant men and women who want to develop this country, but MCP’s behaviour is a stumbling block. We want to splint but they want us to walk, so we feel enough is enough,” said a UTM governing council executive member who pleaded for anonymity.
The level of resistance within MCP can be felt in statements like those given by its secretary general, Eisenhower Mkaka, who is also a government powerful Ministry of Foreign Affairs minister.
“There is no entity called Tonse Alliance. We went to the polls on MCP ticket, leading the Tonse Alliance, but within the alliance, parties have maintained their independence in terms of operations and existence,” said Mkaka in a television interview.
UTM die-hards feel sidelined and overlooked on representations making them feel the hard work towards dislodging Peter Mutharika and the DPP in the June 23 fresh presidential election is not appreciated.
Our sources say Chilima is constantly pleading with his team to calm down as this is not a UTM government, but the “game changers” are tired of being goaded by MCP suppoerts on social media and in other circles.
A powerful politician from North Malawi who is also UTM Party spokesman, Frank Mwenifumbo, had said it was unimportant for them [UTM and MCP] to be arguing over power saying “this is time for development.”
Besides jostling for top positions representation, UTM and MCP are locked in another battle of who will lead the Alliance in the 2025 presidential election as supporters of both camps, especially UTM, believe that Chakwera agreed to only govern for five years and pave the way for Chilima in a rotational presidency which consolidates power to the Central region of Malawi.
MCP national campaign director, Moses Kunkuyu, said that Chakwera has the constitutional right to seek another term.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :