Leader of the United Transformation Movement (UTM), Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima, has expressed excitement over the progress the movement is registering just over four months after it was launched. According to UTM’s Publicity Secretary, Dr.Joseph Chidanti Malunga, UTM popularity is spreading like bushfire and so far the uptake of its message has been encouraging.
“Our President is very excited with the progress that we have made so far within the period that we have existed as a movement. We successfully launched UTM in all the four political regions of the country: central, southern, eastern as well as the northern region and now the movement has created lean and agile teams to hold meta-meetings in different parts of the country. So far, this is working and our President is excited about it,” said Malunga.
This progress has not been lost on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The two parties now appear to be out to put spanners in the works of the UTM to derail its momentum. Over the past weeks, the social media has been flush with rumors suggesting disagreements among top UTM officials Chiima’s leadership of the movement. However, as if to respond to the rumors, UTM came out in full force with power meetings across the country to sensitize the public on the importance of registering to vote in the election next year, and to promote its transformation vision.
One of the movement’s senior executive members, who is also Central Region Champion, Newton Kamabala, addressed a mammoth crowd in Mchisi district on Saturday, September 29, 2018 where he reiterated UTM’s vision to eradicate corruption, cronyism and tribalism and revamp the Malawian economy in order to uplift the socioeconomic conditions of Malawians.
“Malawi as a country is blessed with abundant resources but is currently reeling under the weight of corruption and maladministration. Our private sector is failing to tick due to heavy taxes and a general poor economic environment, and we are the only ones as UTM under the stewardship of Saulos Klaus Chilila who have a clear agenda to drain the swamp. We are therefore positive that come May 21 next year, we are forming a new government which will be people-centered,” Said Kambala. The meeting was also attended by Former First Lady, Calista Mutharika, Anitta Kalinde and other UTM officials who all spoke in unison about movement’s single minded vision to uplift the social economic wellbeing of Malawians.
On Saturday, October 6, 2018, UTM’s National Chair who is also Eastern Region Champion, Noel Masangwi, was at Kanyumbu Primary School in Machinga North East Constituency Ntaja, where he reminded the people that time has come for Malawians to make a bold statement against bad leadership in this country as it is crystal clear that President Peter Mutharika has not lived up to the promise he represented ahead of the 2014 general election.
“Perhaps the reason why Mutharika has spectacularly failed as a leader is because he spent almost all of his adult life outside this country. That is the reason he fails to connect with our daily struggles as Malawians, which is also why you people of Ntaja should come out in large numbers to replace him with Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima on 21 May next year. Chilima grew up and got his education here in Malawi; he stays here and understands our problem better. He is the only one therefore in a better position to prescribe practical solutions to end poverty in this country,” said Masangwi.
The meeting was attended by several UTM executives like Lewis Ngalande, Yusuf Matumula and several prominent business people from Machinga who pledged to support the movement by mobilizing young people from the district for a common UTM vision, and to ensure that the movement forms next government.
There were also other UTM meetings in other areas of the country where an integrated message of hope was delivered. Speaking at a public rally held at Neno, another senior executive member for the movement, Michael Usi, said it is crucial that people choose wise leaders to help them spur development in their areas.
“Leadership is biblical and even in biblical times of Moses God chose wise leaders and not stubborn ones. So many leaders in Malawi are not effective today because they are stubborn and drunk with power. This is not helping Malawi because to be a leader is to be a servant of the people,” said Usi, adding that “people of Neno have so many examples of servant leaders who have served in government.”
Secretary General for the movement, Patricia Kalitai, travelled to Nsanje the same weekend where she advised leaders at constituency, district and regional levels to be steadfast in mobilizing grassroots for the party to win next year elections.
“Said Kaliati: As UTM, we are very lucky because we have a leader in Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima who understands the overreaching challenges that fraught Malawians. It is clear the way he articulates his vision for dealing with our challenges that he is one of us; that he knows your problems and understand them clearly. UTM has a master plan for this country and we must give it a chance to fix our problems through the ballot next year.”
Kaliati urged leaders to emulate Chilima by communicating clearly and with purpose. She advised them to desist from using foul language or castigate political opponents as that would not reflect the transformational spirit which UTM represents. “You may have noted that other parties are attacking us day and night including using violence, but we have just taken this in our stride; not that we cannot retaliate or that we are fools but our brand of politics is different and our agenda for the country is big’” said Kaliati
In Karonga, Speaker of Parliament who is also MP for Karonga Nyungwe Constituency and also UTM senior executive member, Richard Msowoya, said there is now no reason why people of Karonga should lose hope because UTM and Saulos Chilima represent the most practical and realistic promise to take Malawi out of the DPP doldrums.
Of late, DPP and MCP have trained their guns on UTM and it is easy to understand why the two parties are now creating ‘story workshops’ that are deliberately aimed at spreading falsehood about the UTM. However, the movement has been unrelenting and unwavering as exemplified by how its officials have comprehensively ignored the rumors to bombard the countryside with pubic rallies and spreading UTM’s single-minded vision for the country under the stewardship of SKC as he is fondly called by his supporters. UTM is quickly setting the agenda on the political scene. It is setting the pace of political discourse and clearly with the highest percentage of the Share of Voice (SOV).