It is true that Saulos Klaus Chilima has never been the State President of Malawi. This is why others think that it is unfair to blame Chilima for the political mess Malawi is undergoing through. However, this school of thought is erroneous for a couple of reasons which this write-up endeavours to unearth.
Firstly, on 16th May 2009, the Malawi High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court presided over by Justice Twea, Justice Potani and Justice Dr. Mtambo summarily defined the Office of the President as being composed of the President, the First Vice President and the Second Vice President.
What this implies is that these three persons work legally in the same office. All successes and failures of the incumbent government are attributable to these official persons.
It is in the same vein of logic that President Chakwera has been delegating some presidential tasks to Vice President Chilima.
So, Chilima cannot run away from the failures and atrocities perpetrated by the current regime.
Secondly, Section 92 (1) of the Malawi Constitution empowers Vice President Chilima to be part of the Cabinet where he is accorded a chance to articulate issues of national importance.
Furthermore, Section 92 (2) of the same Malawi Constitution empowers the Cabinet including the Vice President to assist the president by discharging advisory roles.
In addition, Section 92 (3) of Malawi Constitution provides special powers to the Vice President to chair Cabinet meetings in the absence of the President.
What this means is that if Tonse Alliance administration is dismally failing, Vice President Chilima is part of the mess.
Thirdly, Vice President is personally responsible for campaign lies.
He lied to the nation that he would be the Minister of Finance and yet he knew that he would have no prerogative to appoint himself to that position.
Some gullible and illiterate citizens voted Tonse Alliance into power with the anticipation that our economy would improve under the tutelage of Chilima as the Minister of Finance. It was a total lie.
Chilima personally criss-crossed the whole country promising one million jobs to Malawians in the first year of Tonse Alliance administration.
The reality on the ground is that within one year of Tonse Alliance regime, over 600,000 Malawians were retrenched implying that there was no job creation at all.
Lies and honesty are the traits of Chilima. Malawians have realised that he lied to the nation that Dr. Lazarus Chakwera would be a one-term president.
Facts on the ground are that in addition to refuting Chilima’s lies, President Chakwera is poised to stand again as a presidential candidate in 2025.
With a litany of Chilima’s lies, it is logical to blame him for the political mess Malawi is experiencing.
Fourthly, many Malawians feel duped by Chilima as he was advocating against corruption and nepotism during the campaign period.
Once in power, the Tonse Alliance government was the first to practice nepotism by sending Chilima’s mother-in-law for embassy mission in Zambia.
Currently, the whole vice president Chilima is answering bribery charges. No wonder that recently the High Court has confirmed that three corruption and bribery charges are still hanging on his neck.
Fifthly and lastly, Chilima lacked proper political vision and oversight.
Truth must be told, Saulos Chilima is a presidential material but he allowed his egocentricity to choke his presidential ambitions.
Many Malawians are of the view that if Chilima was patient enough to stay with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), our economy would have been better by now under the dynamic leadership of Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika (APM)
Instead, Chilima chose to conspire with Chakwera against APM. The Tonse Alliance administration seemed to provide hope to many Malawians but practically it is a failure.
A renowned social commentator, Burnnet Munthali, says that Chilima was part of a “conspiracy to a failed state” by allowing an inexperienced Chakwera to lead the Tonse Alliance.
In fact, after serving for one term as the Vice President of the country, another renowned writer, Jones Gadama, suggested that Chilima could have been more visionary by leading the Tonse Alliance in 2020 when the law did not bar him from standing as a presidential candidate.
In conclusion, it sounds logical to conclude that Vice President Chilima should be partly blamed for the political mess Malawi experiencing even though in some instances he is not the final decision maker.
This is so because Chilima is part of the presidency according to the 2009 Constitutional Court ruling. He is also accorded an opportunity to articulate national issues in cabinet meetings.
Furthermore, Chilima is dubbed as being part of a conspiracy to a failed state by overthrowing a legitimate DPP government and thereafter partnering with the failed Tonse Alliance government which has messed up the country’s economy.