The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president (South) George Chaponda has said he is not one of the “beasts of prey” referred in the the game-changing socio-political remarks of the former First Lady Callista Mutharika, who have surrounded President Peter Mutharika and misleading him.
Callista said the “beasts of prey are every where, at State House, in the DPP, everywhere…”
The former First Lady said there are individuals in DPP government who should not hold public office because they are thieves and urged Malawians not to waste time with thieves.
“Out there, lots of people would like to progress. As a nation, we need to help those who seek progress. We must not waste our energies on thieves like these. People are tired of poverty.”
Apparently, Chaponda has been pinpointed by commentators as one of the “beasts” misleading Mutharika on his candidacy for the May 2019 Tripartite Eelctions.
But Chaponda has denied that he is misleading Mutharika and is not a beast.
“The President has not broken any law by expressing his intention to contest for a second term (his final five years),” Chaponda responded in a Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) interview.
Chaponda said those who argue that Malawi has just wasted five years with DPP in power hence there should be change of guard, “have no basis” for their claims.
“It is all jealousy,” said Chaponda on Tiuzeni Zoona programme.
Some members of the ruling party are demanding President Mutharika, 79, to pave way for the youthful State Vice-President Saulos Chilima as the DPP’s presidential candidate in next year’s elections.
Mutharika has openly declared he would represent DPP in 2019 and that has also been echoed by party gurus such as Chaponda.
He argues that change of guards will give away the presidency to main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
On his part, Chilima has kept his cards to his chest, saying not a word on the suggested take-over, leaving it all to his supporters to fight for the cause they seem to be passionately eager to defend to the hilt.
The Chilima ‘movement for change’ says if Mutharika does not willfully pave way for their preferred candidate then the position of DPP presidential candidate for the 2019 elections should be contested for at the party’s convention. They say it’s only with Chilima at the helm that DPP stands a chance to win in the 2019 presidential race.
Mutharika has countered that by saying he would contest to secure victory for the party in the 2019 polls.
In the radio interview, Chaponda maintained that Mutharika will go unopposed at the DPP convention but could not indicate whent he party will gold its convention to elect new office bearers in the National Governing Council which has not met for four years.
Chaponda is regarded as the possible successor of Mutharika but the Mulanje-South-West legislator kept his comments close to the chest on what post he will contest at the convention..
“Tiakona komweko… Nanga panthawi ino tiyambe kunena sitinayambe even kampeni.. Tikaona komweko [ We will cross the bridge when we finally get there. We have not even started our party campaigns and it is to early to say,” he said.
DPP was founded by the President;’s late brother, Bingu, in 2005 to provide a political footstool for Bingu’s administration after he had ditched United Democratic Front (UDF), the party that sponsored his presidential candidacy in 2004 after former president Bakili Muluzi handpicked him as his successor.