Malawi vice president starts new party
Malawi vice president Saulos Chilima has launched a bitter attack on his own government ahead of elections in May, when he hopes to win power as head of a new opposition party.
Chilima said in an interview that he no longer speaks to President Peter Mutharika, and he alleged that corruption had worsened under the current government.
Chilima was Mutharika’s running mate in the 2014 election, but the two have fallen out spectacularly.
“I send my communication [to the president] as notification that I am travelling – that is as much communication as there is,” Chilima said, adding there was no relationship between the two men.
Chilima, 45, a wealthy former businessman, is seen as a young challenger to Mutharika, 79.
He quit the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and set up the United Transformation Movement to contest the election.
Under Malawi’s constitution, the vice president cannot be sacked by the president.
Speaking at his grand official house decorated with oil paintings and surrounded by extensive gardens in the capital Lilongwe, Chilima said that corruption and bad leadership had worsened poverty in one of the world’s poorest countries.
“People in leadership positions have known what is needed to be done but they have done the opposite,” he said.
“There is serious plunder of public resources that are meant to improve quality of life.
“We have under-sourced programmes that would have brought about a better quality for the citizens.