BLANTYRE—United Transformation Movement (UTM), a brain child of Vice President of the Republic of Malawi Saulos Klaus Chilima, will be officially launched on Saturday at Masintha ground in Lilongwe.
The movement is a breakaway from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which started as Chilima movement, a faction which was agitating for Chilima presidency in the party.
In an interview with Zodiak, UTM spokesperson Chidanti Malunga, confirmed of the development, saying everything is set for the launch.
“It is indeed true that we have now settled for United Transformation Movement not Chilima movement. People should come at Masintha ground in Lilongwe this Saturday to witness the colourful launch of the movement which is coming with new ways of doing things,” said Malunga.
Chidanti said it is too early to talk about coalition.
“We can’t talk about whom are we interested to work with now, but our idea is to have Saulos Chilima as one the presidential candidates in 2019,” he said.
Since Chilima started showing interest in presidency, the government has been sidelining him, inwhat is clearly a tit-for-tat act.
Few dasy ago, president Peter Mutharika stopped Chilima from heading the Department of Disaster Management Affairs and National Public Events.
Last year, Chilima’s position as head of Public Sector Reforms was taken away from him. Public discourse has it that the moves are evidence of the bad blood that exists between Mutharika and Chilima.
On June 6 this year, Chilima announced that he is leaving the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after there had been calls that he should take over the party’s leadership from Mutharika.
However, Political Analyst Ernest Thindwa has said it is not surprising that Mutharika has kicked out Chilima as the Vice President is now a political rival.
“It is not a surprise really in the sense that the President [Mutharika] is only trying to be [politically] rational. Any politician is a rational being who would want to have an edge over a competitor. The office[Department of Disaster Management Affairs and National Public Events] was giving Chilima a platform to meet the masses and to be seen to be helpful because normally he was going there with some kind of help and that could be an advantage which the incumbent President does not want[Chilima] to have,’’ he said as quoted by the Times.
Chilima has, in his recent interview, declared his interest to contest for presidency in 2019.