A leaked phone call between Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary General Greselder Jeffrey and Local Government Minister has gone viral on social media.
The two in the leaked phone conversation mostly talked about the divisions in the party following pressure by some party members to have Vice President Saulos Chilima as the party’s torch bearer in the 2019 elections.
During the phone call, Jeffrey downplayed Chilima’s chances of being elected as DPP president at the party’s convention.
The DPP Secretary General challenged that the delegates at the party’s convention will mostly likely reject Chilima and choose Mutharika as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2019 elections.
“If it were left to me to decide, I would say let the President convene the National Governing Council. Let’s see if they (Chilima camp) will have the courage to say what they are now saying. And after that let’s have a convention.
“I can guarantee you that even if Chilima were to have the audacity of contesting against the President at the convention, there is no way he would win – never! He’ll hear it himself from the mouths of delegates from deep in the villages,” she says in the audio as transcribed by social commentator Onjezani Kenani.
She added that the pro-Chilima movement is destroying the DPP and it is only strengthening the opposition Malawi Congress Party.
“If these people want to go, let them go in peace, without destroying our party in their wake. As you can see, they are wooing [Democratic Progressive Party] supporters. Who, from [the Malawi] Congress [Party] has joined their camp so far? They’re busy carving up the DPP,” Jeffrey told Nankhumwa.
Jeffrey also claimed during the conversation that Chillima spoke with Mutharika over the pro-Chilima movement and the two agreed to remain silent on the matter.
However, according to Jeffrey, Chilima was surprised to hear Mutharika speak about the issue at the airport shortly after arriving from the United Kingdom.
Following Mutharika’s speech, Chilima told Jeffrey that he was no longer interested in being Mutharika’s runningmate and in contesting for as resident at the party’s convention.
Former First Lady Callista Mutharika was the first senior DPP member to openly endorse Chilima as DPP presidential candidate.
On this, Jeffrey said Callista public supported Chilima after several meetings by the pro-Chilima camp had taken place.