D-Day! Tonse’s fate today

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Reports are rife in Malawi that the ruling coalition of Tonse Alliance will break apart this weekend following strong allegations of fraud and corruption leveled against Vice President Saulos Chilima, leader of one of Tonse’s cornerstones, UTM.

This afternoon, President Lazarus Chakwera is set to hold a meeting with leaders of political parties in the Tonse Alliance and there are indications that the future of the alliance will be decided when the party presidents meet today at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

Speaking to the local media, one of the alliance partners has described the meeting today as a make or break meeting, saying some partners want to know the future of the alliance.

He said: “Some of us will be eager to know the future of this alliance. I just feel that we seem to have taken a different direction. Do we still have this alliance or it’s time each of us focused on their own parties?”

The Tonse Alliance comprises nine parties including Chakwera’s Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Chilima’s UTM, Umodzi Party led by Dr John Chisi, People’s Party led by former President Joyce Banda and AFORD which is led by Enoch Chihana. The parties joined forces ahead of the 2020 fresh presidential elections.

MCP spokesperson Reverend Maurice Munthali said during Tonse partners meetings, Chakwera tells partners some key issues regarding government affairs and he also listens to partners’ opinions on the issues.

On Tuesday, Chakwera announced that he has stopped delegating duties to Chilima who is suspected to have been involved in corruption dealings with businessman Zuneth Sattar.

However, Chilima yesterday denied the allegations of corruption and demanded the Anti-Corruption Bureau to confront with the allegations so that he should be able to defend himself.

“[Chilima] remains confident that any due process initiated to test the scurrilous allegations against him would vindicate the hope that Malawians placed in him  and looks forward to that occasion,” Chilima’s spokesperson said in the statement.

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