Some die hard Malawi Congress Party (MCP) bigwigs are said to be clandestinely pushing for immediate past Vice President Saulos Chilima to be a joint presidential candidate with UTM party should the Constitutional Court orders a re-run of the highly tippexed May 21 presidential elections.
We can reveal that billionaire Ashan Simbi Phiri through some of the MCP bigwigs namely Rhino Chiphiko are canvassing support for Chilima to lead the possible UTM-MCP alliance.
“Its true that Simbi has expressed the desire to have Chilima as presidential candidate should there be a re run of the polls. He is already funding the initiative, ” said a close source.
Chiphiko confirmed to have met Simbi to discuss the issue.
“What we are doing now is getting support from other MCP members to look at this alternative arrangement because if we go into the elections like we did in May we would have the same results. I think Chilima presents a fresh face of politics which many MCP members can embrace,” said Chiphiko.
The sentiments were echoed by veteran MCP politician Joseph Njobvuyalema who said Chilima has proved a strong leader who can benefit the country.
“If we were to have a re run I think we should let Chilima run together with Chakwera. I dont think Chakwera would mind being the running mate. This could be a winning team with a landslide victory, ” said Njobvuyalema.
Another MCP veteran politician Loius Chimango also threw his weight behind Chilima to lead the UTM-MCP ticket.
“If you ask my opinion I think the Chilima Chakwera ticket would be in the best interests of Malawians,” said Chimango insisting he was speaking in his personal capacity.
An MCP National Executive Committee (Nec) member who spoke on condition of anonymity said the last election although they were tampered with have shown that there is need for MCP to look for a fresh face to lead it if a re run was to be called.
“Let us face it, we need a new and fresh face to win the next elections if they were to be a re run. Chakwera has had a go at it twice and did not make it.”
“We should have a reality check. Sidik Mia was brought in because of money but he did not really help the party in terms of image. Mayi Joyce Banda did not bring in the expected numbers and I will not waste time to talk the contribution we got from Khumbo Kachali.”
“We need to be realistic and get Chilima to lead the two parties if there were to be a re run. He polled about 1 million votes on his own. If people are talking to Chilima to be a joint presidential candidate I would support that,” said the member.
Analysts said Chakwera should humble himself and let the youthful Chilima lead in the next polls.
“If Chilima can lead the two parties then it will be a walk over and I think the DPP would want that scenario but they need to talk and agree because it is not about personal egos but these people are representing the hope of many Malawians,” said the analyst.
Insiders said Chakwera is ready to run with Chilima as a running mate.
“Personally Chakwera is ready to run as Chilima’s running mate but there are people like Mia who feel have invested much in the campaign. But to say the truth MCP supporters would relate well with Chilima than Mia,” said a source close to the talks.