Vice-President Saulos Chilima is in Nigeria where he is attending the second Africa-Israel Dialogue organised by the Brenthurst Foundation which has board members with a wealth of leadership skills along with unparalleled knowledge of political and economic policy in Africa.
The Vice-President, who is also leading the newly formed United Transformation Movement (UTM) that is promoting his ticket in the presidential race in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections, departed the country on Saturday through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) aboard commercial flight with a delegation of four people.
The trip is self-funded and not on tax payers money.
The theme of the dialogue is Agriculture and Technology for Development and has drawn participation of international experts and leaders.
The Malawian Vice President's participation is at the invitation of Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, who is board chair of the Brenthurst Foundation.
The Brenthurst Foundation supports Initiative in seeking ways to fund African development and to organize conferences on African competitiveness.
In a statement dated October 27 2018 signed by special assistant to the Vice-President on economic affairs Milward Tobias, Chilima is scheduled to return home on October 31 through KIA.
The Vice-President broke ranks with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on June 6 this year and declared he will challenge President Peter Mutharika in the presidential race in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Chilima--whom President Peter Mutharika picked as running mate in January 2014 where he served as Airtel Malawi managing director--had a visibly rosy relationship with the establishment until his declaration and the President subsequently stripped him of his Cabinet portfolio of Minister Responsible for Disaster Management Affairs and in-charge of National Public Events.
Since his declaration, Chilima has been sidelined from official engagements, including seeing off and welcoming the President, stirring debate among legal scholars on the position and status of the Vice-President.
Section 80 (3) of the Constitution provides that the Vice-President shall be elected concurrently with the President and the name of a candidate for the Vice-President shall appear on the same ballot paper as that of the presidential candidate who nominated him/her.