Malawi VP Killed In Plane Crash Had Publicly Accused Chakwera Of Fraud Before-Time
11 June 2024
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By Farai D Hove | Malawi is facing significant political turmoil following the death of Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima in a plane crash. Before his death, Chilima had subtly accused President Lazarus Chakwera of breaching a political agreement and called him a fraud in advance. This agreement, signed in 2020, stipulated that both leaders would only serve one term each.

In 2022, during a press briefing at the UTM headquarters in Area 10, Lilongwe, Chilima disclosed the details of the agreement. He explained that, according to their contract, President Chakwera was not supposed to be a presidential candidate beyond 2025. Instead, he would cede the candidacy to his running mate from the 2020 election. The agreement, meant to last ten years, aimed at fostering mutual support and ensuring each would lead the country for one term.

“That subject to the decision of the national executive committees or, as the case may be, of the UTM and the Malawi Congress Party, the presidential candidate during the fresh presidential election of 23 June, 2020 shall not be the presidential candidate during the immediate next election and shall cede the candidacy to the running mate in the fresh presidential election of 23 June, 2020,” reads clause number 11 of the agreement.

Chilima stressed that any deviation from this agreement would constitute political fraud. “Any departure from the Agreement amounts to political fraud not only on the parties to the Agreement, but also on the popular will that mandated the Alliance in the first place,” he emphasized.

He warned against allowing personal ambitions to destabilize the country: “There is no wisdom in name calling, abuse, arrogance, humiliation or indeed violence for something that came into being amid smiles and a sense of hope for many generations.”

Chilima expressed his dismay at how power dynamics within the Tonse Alliance had shifted, causing internal strife. “I am flabbergasted that power which was supposed to be shared under the Tonse Alliance has become sweet to some in MCP who are fueling political fights.”

He proposed that if internal conflicts continued, it would be best to terminate the alliance immediately and call for fresh elections. “If there is insistence from other elements within the Alliance and their advocacy for a split as we move towards 2025, the best would be to terminate the Alliance now. Indeed, if we were to terminate the Alliance, in honesty, we would have to call for a fresh presidential election. We should not continue our journey to 2025 with two hearts: One inside and another outside of the Alliance.”

Chilima acknowledged the contributions of all Tonse Alliance partners and emphasized the importance of fulfilling their promises to the Malawian people. He expressed gratitude to those who supported the alliance during the 2020 elections and lamented the failure to fully honor the agreement’s terms.

He reminded alliance members of their commitment to the people of Malawi and criticized premature political campaigns: “I wish to remind members of the Tonse Alliance that we NEVER at any stage promised Malawians another campaign, we promised them the Land of Canaan. And our mission should, therefore, solely be to get them there. Another campaign, three years away from an election, is most unfortunate, regrettable, abuse of the political process, and completely unnecessary.”

Chilima concluded by reiterating the foundational principles of the Tonse Agreement, which included promoting national unity, good governance, and mutual respect. He assured Malawians that their commitment to serving the nation remained strong despite the challenges.

“The commitment we made to be your servants remains intact. No amount of propaganda, innuendo, insult, humiliation will move us an inch. We as the UTM are a big part of this Administration and no one must be under any illusion to believe otherwise,” he declared.

Chilima’s statements suggest a deepening political crisis in Malawi, raising questions about the future of the Tonse Alliance and the country’s leadership.

How does President Chakwera remember late Rt. Hon. Chilima?

“Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima was a good man, a devoted father and husband, a patriotic citizen who served his country with distinction, and a formidable Vice President.

“I consider it one of the greatest honours of my life to have had him as my deputy and counsellor for the past four years, and his passing is a terrible loss to his wife Mary, his family, his friends, his colleagues in Cabinet, and to all of us as a nation that found his leadership and courage a source of inspiration.

“And I know that even the others who were on that flight were men and women of honour who served their country with distinction and whose families are left with broken hearts today.” – #Nyasatimes