In a twist of events, United Democratic Front (UDF) senior members are demanding that Atupele Muluzi should be Peter Mutharika’s running mate or they will not be part of the DPP/UDF alliance.
In what has turned to be a masterstroke, UDF says there’s no point in being in alliance with DPP if both the presidential candidate and running mate come from DPP.
Before the DPP/UDF alliance unveiling ceremony, sources within UDF revealed that Atupele was promised the Second Vice Presidency soon after confirmation of the alliance.
The UDF was also promised several cabinet positions. However, only a few of Mutharika’s promises were fulfilled.
This led to an exodus of UDF senior members from the party who have joined MCP and UTM.
Several senior DPP members are eyeing the running mate position which has proven to be a bone of contention between the parties.
The members include Kondwani Nankhumwa, Bright Msaka and Everton Chimulirenji.
These potential running mates and other senior members have always been against putting the young Muluzi as a running mate.
They believe that making Atupele Vice President would be a great opportunity for UDF to come back to power in the unlikely event that God decides to recall the old and frail Mutharika while in office.
The DPP senior members know that Atupele’s father, Bakili Muluzi, has a burning desire to see his son become President and UDF back in power.
As in the 2019 elections, First Lady Gertrude Mutharika wants Chimulirenji to be her husband’s running mate.
This is because she believes she can easily control him should her 80 year old husband fail to complete an unlikely new five year presidential term.
Until the day of presentation of nomination papers for the annulled May, 2019 elections, many DPP gurus didn’t know who would be picked as running mate.
When Chimulilenji’s name was unveiled, senior DPP members were disappointed and sad.
Among the most disappointed faces were Goodall Gondwe, Bright Msaka, Henry Mussa and Kondwani Nankhumwa.
Even the foul mouthed Charles Mchacha could not afford a plastic smile.
Many DPP supporters believe Chimulirenji was one of the reasons many Malawian voters didn’t vote for the party.
The supporters are against repeating the same mistake. Only presentation of nomination papers will reveal if Mutharika and his wife listened to the party supporters.
On the other hand Nankhumwa’s camp believe another lomwe should be Mutharika’s running mate to protect the tribeal cabal’s interests which include multi-million Kwacha corrupt businesses with government.
Recently, Nankhumwa has been making speeches designed to show that he is the voice of reason within the tribal party.
But Bright Msaka believes among Atupele, Nankhumwa and Chimulirenji, he is best suited to succeed Mutharika because of his education and long term experience as Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet.
UDF’s demand to have Atupele as Mutharika’s running mate has shocked DPP.
With no time for further discussions, the DPP/UDF alliance is in danger of not getting to Election Day intact.
It’s an interesting week for those that love political drama.