A bitter row erupted between Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and its political bedfellow UTM on Thursday when Saulos Chilima used a UTM vehicle branded with his party symbols and his face as presidential candidate on his whistle stops in Nkhotakota.
MCP got mad and censured him for not using the face of the alliance candidate Lazarus Chakwera and MCP colours.
MCP says Chilima cannot be marketing his face and brand when the face is not on the ballot paper.
Chilima has instead told off MCP that he cannot use MCP colours in the campaign as he is using his own money to woo votes for the alliance.
He added that the vehicles he is using are UTM vehicles and they cannot be branded MCP.
Chilima’s deepest fear is that UTM could be dead, buried and forgotten if his face and UTM logos will be replaced by MCP brands.
To strike a balance after pressure, Chilima accepted to remove his face and UTM logo but refused to use MCP symbols.
On Friday, Chilima reluctantly removed the branding of his face on his UTM vehicle in his whistle stop in Salima on Friday.
But he has already instructed UTM supporters and officials not to use MCP symbols as he fights to prevent the demise of his party.
Chilima had pushed for UTM to retain its identity in the fresh election by demanding that they present a symbol that reflects the identity of the two parties on the ballot paper.
Chakwera did make the application to Malawi Electoral Commission to allow them change the cockerel symbol which MCP uses on the ballot papers to one that reflects the alliance with UTM.
But MEC rejected Chakwera’s application for them to change the symbol saying the change would be against the law.