Traditional Authority Mchilamwela and some of his overzealous subjects stopped some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members from holding a meeting in in Thyolo Central constituency on Thursday t o discuss fundamental principles of the DPP constitution.
Regional organising secretary for the South Henry Matemba and national director of logistics Ben Chidyaonga have had successful meetings in Mulanje where the people want Vice-President Saulos Chilima to be allowed to contest for the presidency at the party convention.
The party has not yet set a convention date.
But when some DPP officials wanted to hold similar meetings in Thyolo, T/A Mchilamwela stopped the meetings, saying it was the home district of President Peter Mutharika, hence he prevented chaos and violence in his area.
“Yes it is true I stopped them after my subjects alerted me that the confusionists were in the area to hold meetings. As a chief I am a peacemaker so I did what my subjects had asked me to do. Without my intervention these confusionists were going to cause chaos because people here are against what they are fighting for. This movement is disrespectful to the Head of State and I cannot allow that here,” said the chief.
Some members of the community said they were ready to unlease violence against the movement for change.
Leaders of the group understood the chief’s concerns and one of the organisers Francis Manjuli has personally apologised to T/A Mchilamwela.
Manjuli said he was working with DPP legislatures Bon Kalindo and Patricia Kaliati.
Kalindo and Kaliati were not available for comment.
The pro-Chilima movement is growing and they are having so many people who want to be affiliated to it.
The visit of the officials to the constituencies comes amid a split in the party as some members want Chilima to be the party torchbearer in the 2019 Tripartite Elections while others want the incumbent President Peter Mutharika to stand again.
The so-called Chilima movement was triggered by former first lady Callista Mutharika’s open pronouncement that the Veep is the ideal candidate to lead the party as Mutharika is ageing.
While Chilima is yet to comment on the matter, some DPP officials have declared Mutharika will automatically be the party’s torchbearer.