In an Interview on Rainbow Television Malawi, the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) director of elections, Ben Phiri has sought to minimize the threat UTM Party led by Vice-president Saulos Chilima poses to the Re-election of his Boss Peter Mutharika.
Ben Phiri said that the strength of UTM is only on social media with more followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, higher posting frequencies, and more fan engagement (e.g. likes, comments and shares) but they have negligible voters on the ground in Malawi.
“Most people who make noise on social media in support of UTM are not in Malawi. They are not voters. They are well known noise makers and attention seekers on Facebook while staying abroad [UK, USA],” Ben said. He told programme host Aubrey Kusakala that the watershed elections are a battle between oldest Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and DPP.
Phiri said DPP is very popular due to various development programmes which the Peter Mutharika administration has undertaken, branding the President as “Mr. Deliverer”.
Dr. Ben Phiri cited various developments which the party has undertaken since being ushered into power in 2014.
The year after Mutharika took power in 2014, floods that wracked the southern African nation and forced more than 200,000 people from their homes and killed at least 176 were followed by drought and widespread food shortages.
He also cited that rebuilding efforts were hampered by a foreign-aid freeze after the Cashgate scandal during the Joyce Banda administration that saw as much as $33 million allegedly looted from state coffers.
However the DPP government took painful steps to stabilize the economy and the currency, the kwacha, and brought inflation down from a peak of 24 percent to a single digit.
Ben Phiri has promised in the past that he will do everything that he is capable of to see Mutharika return as the president in the May 2019 Elections. He has promised that Malawi President Peter Mutharika will rule till 2024 until God give us the alternative that time.