Chakwera meets Chilima over UTM ultimatum

President Lazarus Chakwera on Wednesday met Vice President Saulos Chilima following UTM’s demands for top jobs.

The two met in Mangochi and secretary generals of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM, Eisenhower Mkaka and Patricia Kaliatirespectively, were also in attendance.

According to Chakwera, partners of the ruling Tonse Alliance are expected to meet today.

Left to Right: Mkaka, Chilima, Chakwera and Kaliati

“Today, Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima and I met in our capacities as Presidents of MCP and UTM at Chikoko Bay, where we were joined by the Secretaries-General of our parties ahead of the Tonse Alliance Partners’ summit tomorrow morning,” said Chakwera in a Facebook post.

Partners of the alliance include AFORD, People’s Party, MCP, UTM, Umodzi Party and Freedom Party.

Recently, British fortnightly newsletter, Africa Confidential, reported that Chilima’s UTM had given the MCP until 19 June to meet its demands for better representation in terms of top government positions such as ambassadors and cabinet ministers.

UTM threatened to leave the governing Tonse Alliance in the event of the MCPs failure to meet the demands.

“To be arguing over appointments to top jobs this long after the election is not a good look for either coalition partner, each of which accuses the other of hogging the best jobs. Much sought-after diplomatic appointments are being held up, and leaked documents indicate that most of the plum jobs are going to MCP allies,” the newsletter reported.

A UTM senior member also confirmed to the local media about UTM’s frustrations over its members being sidelined for senior cabinet posts, embassies, parastatals and other key government departments.

This week, names were released for new ambassadors and they included Chilima’s mother in-law who has been posted to head the Malawi Mission in Zambia.

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