President Peter Mutharika has hit back at Vice-President Saulos Chilima for claiming that he was desperate to have him as a mate and that Chilima was instrumental for Mutharika’s victory in 2014.
A charged Chilima during a rally in Dedza last week claimed he marketed Mutharika to win the 2014 elections. He boasted that he was the magic behind DPP’s victory and he does not owe DPP anything after leaving the party.
Chilima also claimed DPP was desperate for him and the party kept sending people to coax him for the running-mate position while he was working with Airtel.
He said DPP should be thankful that he helped it win the elections but this time around, he will concentrate on selling UTM and his candidature so that UTM gets into government.
Chilima’s claims have not gone well with Mutharika who on Thursday dressed down Chilima, saying he was the one desperate to be Mutharika’s running-mate.
Mutharika claimed that he once chased away Chilima after he sneaked into Mutharika’s house at Area 10 to discuss the running-mate issue way before the party settled for him. He claimed someone, who he did not disclose his identity, tipped Chilima that he was on the list of 15 potential people being considered running-mate.
“Someone leaked that to him and the next thing he was at my gate in Area 10 to discuss the running-mate issue. I asked what is he doing here? I refused to meet him. I chased him away,” claimed Mutharika.
Mutharika said Chilima only got the position after he and others settled to have someone from the private sector as running-mate.
The President also called on Chilima to stop boasting that he was behind DPP’s victory in 2014, saying he was only with the party for six months and the areas where he campaigned in the Central Region DPP performed miserably.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe, who is also DPP vice-president for the North, also claimed Chilima was the reason DPP failed to win by a landslide in the elections. He said now that Chilima is out of the party, DPP will sweep the votes and opposition will be shocked.
DPP secretary general Greselder Jeffrey called on Mutharika not to worry about his critics, saying she and others in DPP will handle them.
She said Mutharika’s critics are no match for him, so the President should not waste time-fighting them.
“Leave them to us. We know how to deal with them. They are at our level, so we will handle them,” said Jeffrey.