President Peter Mutharika and Everton Chimulirenji during 2019 election campaign

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Yesterday, as expected, Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima were unveiled as MCP-UTM alliance presidential candidate and running mate respectively. It was not that tense as people knew already that Chakwera was likely to lead the alliance with Chilima as running mate.

But today, people should expect a tense atmosphere in Njamba room at the Mount Soche Hotel as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will be presenting its nomination papers. While it is a well known fact that President Peter Mutharika will lead the DPP-UDF alliance, Atupele Muluzi doesn’t seem to be automatically slotted on running mate position. That’s what makes today’s MEC activities interesting.

So far, different names have been suggested by social media political pundits as possible candidates to partner Mutharika. The list is as follows: Everton Chimulirenji, Atupele Muluzi, Bright Msaka, Kondwani Nankhumwa and Walter Nyamilandu.

If it was multiple choice question, I would say Kondwani Nankhumwa and Walter Nyamilandu are destructors. Nankhumwa comes from the Lhomwe belt just like Mutharika. Therefore, picking him as running mate will send a wrong message to electorates. Nyamilandu lacks political flavour befitting that highest office. After all, he has been accused of mismanagement at the Football Association of Malawi—a very small entity.

Having said that, Bright Msaka, Everton Chimulirenji and Atupele Muluzi remain possible candidates but Chimulirenji stands a better chance to be picked again. Why? Bright Msaka, despite coming from Machinga, people know him very well that he is a Lhomwe by tribe not Yao. In that case, he has found himself in Nankhumwa’s situation. Picking Atupele Muluzi will also mean that Malawi’s top leadership is for two families. Apart from that, some DPP gurus are afraid of surrendering the leadership mantle to the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the event that the unlikely has happened.

Now, it’s up to Mutharika to be brave enough and pick Atupele or maintain Chimulirenji as a sign that the man was not picked out of desperation in the 2019 tripartite elections.

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