The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) says President Lazarus Chakwera should take action against Malawi Congress Party (MCP) second vice President Harry Mkandawire over “highly insensitive and derogatory” remarks against Vice President Saulos Chilima.
According to a statement CDEDI released on Sunday and signed by Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, the organisation want Chakwera to defend and distance himself from Mkandawire’s remarks.
Over the weekend, Mkandawire held a political rally in Karonga where Malawi Electoral Commission is expected to hold a by-election in Karonga Central.
In the area, both MCP which is led by Chakwera and UTM which is led by Saulos Chilima have candidates. UTM and MCP are part of the ruling Tonse Alliance
In an audio clip of his speech, the MCP second vice president in his speech appeared to be attacking Chilima by claiming that there is only one president at a time and Chakwera is the one whose face was on the ballot in the 2020 presidential elections where Chakwera and Chilima were elected president and vice president.
He also argued that Chakwera’s supporters will be prioritized during disbursement of the loans.
According to CDEDI, the remarks mean Mkandawire believes that Dr. Chilima’s powers are not equal to those of the President, and that he should not be acting as if he is the President of this country.
“Mr. Mkandawire and indeed his boss Dr. Chakwera ought to be cautioned against taking Malawians for granted. They should also be reminded that Malawians voted for the Tonse Alliance, a coalition of nine political parties, and not MCP alone. It is therefore not wise for any of the leaders for the nine political parties to take to the political podium to claim victory in the June 23 Fresh Presidential Elections (FPE) as a ruling party,” the organisation said.
It then advised President Chakwera to remember that the Tonse Alliance partners promised a new Malawi for all, and that there is no way they would break their campaign promises
“CDEDI is therefore asking President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to discipline Mr. Mkandawire as proof that he is not party to this scheme to frustrate the Vice Presidency,” reads part of the statement.