Zikhale says Goodall not automatic running mate

By Nyasa Times Reporter

Former Finance Minister Goodal Gondwe is not automatic running mate to ruling DPP’s presidential candidate Professor Peter Mutharika in 2014 despite being the party’s first Vice President, newly appointed Campaign Director Dr Ken Zikhale Ng’oma has said.

In a recent shake up of positions, the ruling party roped in Zikhale as Campaign Director after five years in the wilderness while Gondwe became Bingu’s number two in the party.

Speaking in Zodiak’s Tiuzeni Zoona program on Sunday, Zikhale said it was not automatic that Gondwe would be running mate to Peter Mutharika.

“I don’t think he is an automatic running mate just because he is first vice president. That thing was not discussed. But because you have raised it and the authorities are listening am sure we will pick it from there,” said Zikhale.

Zikhale: 'Prodigal Son' being welcomed back in Mutharika's DPP

When the host, political editor Pilirani Phiri asked Zikhale if it was viable to have a presidential candidate who is over 70 years old considering that in 2014 voters will include those born in 1995 engrossed in the Facebook and Twitter revolution, Zikhale insisted that despite being old Peter Mutharika was the right candidate.

“Be sober when talking of youth revolution. Handing over power to the youth should be a process but not just for the sake of it,” he said, speaking in his trade mark deep slow voice like a pedantic professor of algebra in a class of mutes.

Zikhale also confirmed that his party needs to open up and initiate dialogue with the civil society and the media.

He also thanked Bingu for accepting him into DPP after five years in opposition, labelling himself as a prodigal son.

Asked if he regretted writing a resignation letter that blasted President Mutharika branding him as ungrateful, Zikhale said the problem was not Mutharika but senior party officials, who thought he had amassed too much power.

“In that letter I said I had fallen out of grace with him and cautioned that there were people planning his downfall on the party and am vindicated that over the years you have seen them. I can’t mention names,” he said.

During the formative years of DPP, Zikhale was Secretary General and also State House Chief of Staff. He was accused of being too powerful and was nicknamed Prime Minister.

Zikhale is a long time personal ally of Mutharika, together formed United Party which performed worse than Kamlepo Kalua’s MDP in 1999 elections.

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