UTM party top brass which included presidential running mate Dr Michael Usi this weekend barnstormed the ‘Lhomwe belt’ with whistle stops and rallies in Thyolo, Mulanje and Phalombe where they made some in-roads in the perceived stronghold of the ruling Democratic Progressive party (DPP).
Mulanje together with Thyolo, Phalombe and Chiradzulu forms the grassroots axis of power for the DPP and Lhomwe is the dominant tribe in the said four DPP stronghold districts, collectively known by the moniker Lhomwe Belt.
But defying the odds, the strong contingent of the UTM Party officials also included the party’s patron Noel Masangwi, Secretary General Patricia Kaliati, Director of Elections Paul Chibingu and National Executive Committee (Nec) member and Blantyre Kabula aspirant Felix Njawala.
The group started the whistle stop tours in Thyolo and ended up with a mass rally in Mulanje at Golden Village. In all the stops, there were huge crowds who came to listen to the UTM messages.
On Saturday, UTM Secretary General Kaliati and other Southern region party officials invaded Phalombe with more whistle stop tours and rallies.
The whistle stops were mainly at unveiling Usi, who will partner Vice President and UTM presidential candidate Saulos Chilima during the watershed May elections.
The first whistle stop tour was at Thyolo boma that saw huge crowds of people despite that the area is said to be the ruling party’s bedroom.
Speaking at Thyolo Boma, Usi urged the people to support him and Chilima in the May 21 elections to experience change for better life for every Malawian under the transformational leadership of the UTM.
“We promise you that the UTM leadership of Dr Chilima and myself will be the best and we will not look at a particular area for development and offering a better life but we will look at improving lives of the people throughout the country because we have various problems affecting the people in this country and not only Thyolo or Mulanje,” said Usi to the ulululation of the crowd.
“We will root out nepotism and corruption,” he added.
Business came to a standstill at Luchenza Trading centre as people flocked to have a glimpse at Use and the UTM entourage.
Kaliati told the people that the Chilima-Usi pair is the best that will take the country forward as they will not tolerate nepotism and corruption.
“Voting on tribal lines is old age because we want leaders who have the interest of the whole country at heart not only the areas where they come from and our UTM leadership is what will take this country forward,” said Kaliati.
Kaliati said UTM has made inroads at the grassroots of the Lhomwe belt and promised to win seats in the next year’s elections, saying even in Thyolo where President Peter Mutharika comes from people are supporting Chilima.
At Chinakanaka, almost all the speakers namely Masangwi, Njawala, Regional Governor for the South Steve Mikaya urged the people to vote for Chilima saying he has capabilities of running a productive government.
“He has been Vice president for the past five years and you all have seen how he managed to do the duties that he was told to do and how effective he was until some jealousy people thought he was outshining the President instead of looking at how what Chilima was doing was helping the plight of the people in this country,” said Njawala.
There was a huge crowd at Golden Village in Mulanje where Usi hails from as the people had come to ‘welcome their son home’.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :