State Vice-President and UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Chilima has challenged his boss President Peter Mutharika to “stop this foolishness of intimidating people” in the run up to the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Chilima spoke at a campaign rally at Balaka Primary School Ground on Friday afternoon that politics of intimidation were buried in 1993 when the country voted for multi party politics from one party dictatorship.
“Indeed this foolishness should stop. The foolishness which should stop is the one of intimidating Malawians.
You cannot use government money to go on a podium and intimidate people,” said a visibly charged Chilima.
He was responding to President Mutharika’s recent remarks in Ntchisi where he lost his cool threatening to ‘deal’ with anyone who wants to rig the elections.
Chilima used the word ‘foolishness’ describing allegations that opposition parties he did not name were planning to rig the elections.
“If you were not here in 1993 and you were outside the country, ask those who were here to tell you that we were done with politics of intimidation. You can not intimidate us. Simunagatifinye no no no, please find someone else to intimidate not Malawians,” said Chilima.
“The foolshiness that must end is that of intimidating people not rigging elections. An opposition party cannot rig elections. In fact noone is going to rig elections and that is why some of us are campaigning so that in May we should start correcting things that were going wrong by these people, ” said Chilima.
“When we don’t respond to these intimidations it does not mean that we fear you. Whether you are sitting at Sanjika or State House thinking you are going to intimidate us, then we are sorry, we cannot be intimidated,” Chilima told a huge crowd that attended the rally.
He said those who are intimidating people are aware that they will lose the elections.
Among the people who attended the Balaka rally included former First Lady Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri, UTM Campaign Director and music icon Lucius Banda, UTM Presidential Campaign Chairman Felix Njawala and other top UTM members.
Speaking during some Imbizos he addressed the whole week in Balaka, Chilima advised President Mutharika to quickly accept the results of the elections, even now.
“He should not be shy, founding President Kamuzu Banda accepted defeat [to Bakili Muluzi] when they had not finished counting the votes so Akuluwa [Mutharika] should just accept even now,” said Chilima.
The Vice-President broke ranks with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on June 6 this year and declared he will challenge Mutharika in the watershed presidential race.
Chilima—whom President Peter Mutharika picked as running mate in January 2014 where he served as Airtel Malawi managing director—had a visibly rosy relationship with the establishment until his declaration and the President subsequently stripped him of his Cabinet portfolio of Minister Responsible for Disaster Management Affairs and in-charge of National Public Events.
Since his declaration, Chilima has been sidelined from official engagements.
Section 80 (3) of the Constitution provides that the Vice-President shall be elected concurrently with the President and the name of a candidate for the Vice-President shall appear on the same ballot paper as that of the presidential candidate who nominated him/her.
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