Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president for the Central Region, Uladi Mussa, has rebuked Vice-President Saulos Chilima over strong criticism of government and throwing his hat into the ring for the 2019 presidential elections, going up against the incumbent, Peter Mutharika.
Speaking at Kandulu School Ground in the area of Traditional Authority Ndindi in Salima during a political rally, the Salima South MP who recently joined DPP from the opposition People's Party (PP) where he was acting president and a long time critic of Mutharika's leadership, rebuked Chilima for, among others, criticising a government he is part of .
Said Mussa: "Chilima is practicing opposition politics while serving in a government position as State vice president."
Mussa said Chilima is "ungrateful", saying he was handpicked by Mutharika to be the country's second in command.
"Professor Mutharika could have picked anyone in DPP to be the running mate but instead he chose Chilima [from the private sector].
"In Malawi culture and indeed in African culture, mzako akati konzu iwe umati konzu [one good turn deserves the other]," said Mussa.
Chilima quit the ruling DPP citing unchecked corruption and nepotism. He launched United Transformation Movement (UTM) which has changed the political landscape ahead of May 21 2019 Tripartite elections.
But Mussa said that he's confident that the DPP will win the election with Mutharika getting his final mandatory five year term.
"We are confident that the people will vote for a government that has a track record of development and that is DPP led by Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika," said Mussa.
UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati said Mussa was entitled to his political opinion, but said Malawians are wiser enough to know that he is a 'change goal' politician.
Asked to comment on what Mussa said that Mutharika will win the elections, Kaliati said: "Wait until he changes goal again to hear what he will say after elections."
University of Livingstonia political scientist George Phiri has said no party has exclusive political appeal that can guarantee them autonomous wins next year, saying "with the coming in of UTM, the political landscape has changed" parties must consider electoral partnerships.
Analysts have argued that the coming in of UTM, has weakened both main opposituon Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and DPP, as most of those joining the movement are defecting from the two parties.