LILONGWE—Malawi Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima has finally came out of his cocoon in regards to his political future, declaring that he is ready to contest in 2019 elections for the presidency office.
Chilima declared his stand in one-on-one interview with Gospel Kazako on Zodiak Television on Wednesday, a month after announcing his intention to part ways with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Taking a question on whether he is ready to contest in 2019 for the top seat in the country, Chilima, while quashing the Chilima movement advanced by some former top DPP officials including Patricia Kaliati, said if all procedures are followed he would definitely be on the ballot paper next year.
“I am ready to contest for the top post in the land in 2019. However, I would not prefer to go under the banner of Chilima movement. I would rather call it Transformation Movement so as to do away with the current syndrome of attaching family names to political groupings.
“If the procedure of endorsing me is democratic, it be fine. I don’t want to impose myself because that is what killing democracy in our country. And again it also leads to glorification of leaders, thereby creating a slave-master relationship between the citizens and the leaders,” Chilima said.
He, however, rejected the possibility of returning back to DPP even if they can plead with him to rescind his decision, saying they share different political ideologies.
Chilima, instead, opted for Atupele Muluzi saying pairing with the son to the former and first democratic president can offer the two a rare opportunity to showcase their leadership skills and transform the country.
“Pairing with Atupele Muluzi would be a rare opportunity. That’s a combination of young and vibrant men who have a good track of record of excellent performance in different government departments and even the private sector.
“Given 10 to 20 years, Malawi can completely change for the better,” he said.
In the interview, Chilima also praised the Peter Mutharika led administration for successfully putting the Malawi economy on track and also managing to fulfill its 2014 promises on community colleges.
He also said “Malata Subsidy programme is something worth applauding.”
But he rubbished the substandard tarmac roads that are under construction in different locations.
“I would say Nkhata Bay road is the best so far. These other roads under construction and others completed are of poor standard. They are just wasting financial resources,” said Chilima.
Former first lady Callista Mutharika was the first to publicly endorse Chilima to be the DPP presidential candidate before other prominent DPP members added their voice to the debate. They eventually formed what is now called the Chilima Movement.
Some of the people in the movement are DPP director of women Patricia Kaliati, director of youth Louis Ngalande, director of logistics Ben Chidyaonga and national organising secretary Richard Makondi.
Members of Parliament Allan Ngumuya, Bon Kalindo, Malison Ndau, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga and Paul Chibingu are other members of the movement.