The country’s estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima has touted Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, his electoral partner in Tonse Alliance, as the ticket to a better Malawi where people will live dignified lives.
The Vice-President, who is UTM Party president and Chakwera’s running mate in the July 2 fresh presidential election, said this when he addressed the third Tonse Alliance Mega Rally at Likuni Boys Secondary School ground in Lilongwe.
Like in Kasungu on Saturday, Chakwera was not present at the Likuni rally as he had travelled to Rumphi to bury his 94-year-old mother-in-law.
A calm but energetic Chilima, clad in a branded work-suit and accompanied by his wife Mary, urged people to vote for the Chakwera-Chilima pair because, among others, the leadership will fight corruption and reduce fertiliser prices to K4 495 per 50 kilogramme bag from the present average K20 000.
He also said Chakwera, whom he faced in the annulled May 21 2019 presidential election, will offer servant leadership to Malawians and that the administration will respect the rule of law.
Said Chilima: “We want this nation to be a country for all. We want the leadership that will respect the rule of law and we want one Malawi for all. The leadership of Chakwera will fight corruption and when we end corruption, that will be the only way we may stop [external] borrowing.”
The Vice-President, who was drafted into frontline politics in February 2014 when President Peter Mutharika picked him as his running mate while he served as the first Malawian managing director of Airtel Malawi, claimed that some political leaders are scheming to divide Malawians by alleging that the nine-party Tonse Alliance will abolish Islam in the country.
Chilima stressed that the Tonse Alliance will carry the day in the forthcoming election.
Speaking earlier, MCP first vice-president Mohammad Sidik Mia dismissed suggestions that he was set to join Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance. He pledged his unflinching support to the Chakwera-Chilima partnership, saying it will liberate Malawians from social ills.
MCP secretary general (SG) Eisenhower Mkaka and his UTM Party counterpart Patricia Kaliati also addressed the rally and focused on dismissing utterances by Mutharika’s running mate Atupele Muluzi in Mangochi.
During his Mangochi whistlestop rallies last week, Muluzi, who is UDF president, asked people to reject MCP allegedly because the party kept crocodiles in the one-party system.
But Mkaka and Kaliati said it was Muluzi’s father, Bakili Muluzi, who was among those keeping the said crocodiles while serving as MCP SG.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has set July 2 for the fresh presidential election. However, the day is barely a day to the expiry of the Constitutional Court order to have the vote within 150 days. Last week, MEC suggested the date could be moved to June 23 to comply with the law.