Malawi Member of Parliament (MP) for Mulanje Limbuli constituency Daudi Chida has denied claims that he has defected to the United Transformation Movement (UTM).
Chida who won the 2014 tripartite elections on an independent ticket is a member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Reports emerged that Chida had joined Vice President Saulos Chilima’s UTM following the movement’s rally in the district.
But Chida said the reports emanated from his political enemies in the DPP.
“It is not true that I have joined the United Transformation Movement. People that are perpetuating these lies are colleagues from the DPP who are afraid of the popularity base I am building in my constituency. Their network believes that if they label me UTM they are going to disappoint my supporters,” said Chida.
Mulanje Limbuli is one of the DPP strongholds in Mulanje district. The constituency has recently seen Chida strongly competing for the DPP candidacy for the constituency with former parliamentarian for Frazer Niholia.
Sources close to the two factions have since said that the two rivals are going to face stiff competition in the party’s primaries.
According to Emmanuel Bambala, Councillor for Limbuli ward, the people that are saying that Chida has joined the UTM are failing to realize that Malawi is a nation that comprises many tribes and are trying to put a tribal element in the ruling party.
“Of course Chida joined the DPP as an independent, but he has stood by the DPP development ideologies and it would be unfair to associate him with the UTM because he originally won the Mulanje Limbuli constituency on an independent ticket,” said Bambala.
However, Chipiriro Malindi, one of Niholia’s supporters that we talked to, said that the speculation that Chida has joined the UTM are emerging from the fact that Chida was close to the UTM Secretary General Patricia Kaliati prior to the 2014 tripartite elections.
“Some people have been alleging that Chida was very close to Kaliati prior the 2014 tripartite elections. I think this speculation is coming from this alleged relationship,” said Malindi.
The Mulanje Limbuli constituency has seen an inflow of heavyweights aspiring to represent the constituency in the 2019 tripartite elections. Notable among then are Niholia, Chida and Dr. George Chimatiro.