UTM Party president Saulos Chilima has justified his party’s electoral alliance with Malawi Congress Party (MCP), saying it is the only way they can achieve the 50 percent+1 vote in the forthcoming fresh election.
Chilima, who is also the State Vice-President, was speaking at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre yesterday when he addressed a rally.
He said: “UTM Party and MCP have a vision to save Malawi from its current situation. With the 50-percent-plus-one vote which the Constitutional Court ordered, we thought it wise to have this alliance because our goal is to win. This is a winning alliance.”
In his speech, that lasted about 70 minutes, Chilima said UTM Party and MCP share a common goal of rebuilding Malawi, adding the current government has failed to develop Malawians.
He said: “Malawi is poor because of the leadership. They have destroyed the nation. When voter registration starts, let us go and register in our large numbers, vote and protect the votes. Do not give them another chance.”
Chilima also clarified that the alliance does not mean UTM Party has sold the party, saying “UTM Party remains UTM and MCP remains MCP”.
Earlier in his speech, Chilima called on President Peter Mutharika to give him powers to lead in combating the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the country that has so far infected over 139 000 people and killed about 5 400 people globally. The pandemic has also been reported in 23 African countries so far. Malawi has not yet registered a coronavirus case.
Chilima observed that since Mutharika dissolved his Cabinet on Saturday, the President has a lot of work to do; hence, the request to take up the leading role in fighting the spread of the deadly infection in the country.
He also urged Malawians to follow preventive measures from the Ministry of Health to avoid contracting and spreading the disease.
Said Chilima: “Since the President has dissolved the Cabinet, then I, as Vice-President of the country, and him, are the only people in charge. The President can’t handle all things alone. If you have more work, let me lead on the coranavirus because it will be difficult to hold rallies such as this if Malawi registers cases of the infection.”
Earlier, UTM Party vice-president Michael Usi said the Constitutional Court judgement was a pointer that DPP cannot win elections again.
At the rally attended by thousands of people, most of whom were clad in UTM Party and MCP regalia, with some in Alliance for Democracy (Aford) attire, saw Umodzi Party and Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde) leaders John Chisi and George Nnesa, respectively, announcing that they have joined the UTM Party to help the alliance win the fresh presidential election.
It was the first political rally by UTM Party since it announced it was entering an electoral alliance with MCP, and the first in Blantyre since the Constitutional Court judgement that nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election and ordered a fresh one.
Some notable faces that attended the rally included MCP deputy publicity secretary Kondi Msungama and former Cabinet ministers Yunus Mussa and Davis Katsonga, who both joined the party.
UTM Party and MCP last week announced in separate statements that they had agreed on an electoral alliance whose signing ceremony is expected to take place on March 19 at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe.