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Saulos Chilima: a political prostitute thriving on blind loyalty

Chilima (C) with Mutharika and Chakwera

Since the dawn of multiparty democracy, little has been done by the leaders we have had to emancipate ordinary citizens from the bondage of abject poverty. Usually, whoever gets the mandate to control the public pulse on behalf of Malawians immediately becomes intoxicated with power and the trend continues. The aspirants make too much of the people before election, and, if successful, too much of themselves after it. That is the more reason we welcome any new face in politics with joy and much expectations, as we are a desperate for better leadership, and Malawians just did exactly that with Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima’s first appearance in politics. We all looked upon him as a saviour.

With his relative youthfulness and a good track record of managerial skills at Airtel Malawi, nothing but the best was expected from Chilima. But alas! Six years down the line Chilima has already become a mere political prostitute, turning his supporters into robots in the process.

For starters, Chilima had been handpicked by Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika as his running mate for the 2014 presidential election. He really blossomed after the DPP’s victory and the party gave him the necessary support to broaden his visibility in politics. But within the term, the president’s sister in-law, Callista Mutharika, suggested that the president, aged 78, was too old to seek re-election and that he should make way for Chilima who was 46-year-old then. That suggestion faced resistance from some influential members of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The party split into two factions and eventually Chilima left to start (if not join) the UTM party, but remained the country’s vice-president.

Prior to 2019 elections, Chilima showed willingness to go into an alliance with a foe (Former President Joyce Banda) he vanquished in 2014, one who proved that as Ruling President of the country could not muster enough support in the country to be elected on her own Merit. On this, Chilima proved himself to be an amateur at the tough game of politics.  He was almost conned into an alliance with nothing to gain by the Former Malawi President who founded and leads  the People’s Party, formed in 2011 after Banda herself was expelled from the ruling DPP when she refused to endorse President Bingu wa Mutharika’s younger brother APM as the successor to the presidency for the 2014 general election.

At the moment, Chilima has entered into an alliance with Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to challenge his former boss Mutharika in the fresh presidential election. He is walking shoulder to shoulder with Lazarus Chakwera, the man he made us to believe has no clue of how to transform Malawi. The party he demonised in 2014 and 2019.

Chilima, clever as he is, always hoodwink his supporters with tortuous explanation to justify his greedy and selfish political maneuvers. He has always portrayed himself as the only “Mfana woganiza bho heavy” in the whole political spectrum and this unjustifiable pomp is so wired into UTM followers to such an extent that the young man goes escort free with his greedy political escapades. When he left DPP, the youths rallied behind him thinking he was a signal towards the right direction considering that MCP and DPP are so rooted in old tradition of politics. Others even suggested that Chilima would do better if he could form the new party with totally new blood since the likes of Noel Masangwi, Patricia Kaliati and Louis Ngalande were deemed spent forces, who are contaminated with dirty politics.

In view of that, no one could envisage that Chilima would be in MCP wrap. He has, if truth be told, betrayed his followers. Any Malawian with a well frame of mind cannot continue to idolize Chilima as it was the case in 2014 and 2019. Therefore, for the sake of transparency, Chilima must demonstrate maturity and announce to his ‘gullible’ followers that he is in “alliance of necessity” against Peter Mutharika for reasons best known to himself and that his transformation agenda is no longer in existence. He is now serving his own interests.

Chilima’s political steps within the six years are a revelation that he has no political convictions.  He is a novice politician without own fundamental values or ideas rather than he attempts to represent an existing consensus or simply take positions that are popular with others. One has to wonder if he really wanted to oppose the DPP and Peter Mutharika or was this an idea that was forced upon him by Former Malawi First lady Callista Chimombo – Mutharika, who was also nursing her own frustrations.

Let’s now call a spade by its name; Chilima is a political prostitute, who is thriving on blind loyalty of immature supporters, who have no courage to question the character of the young man who stormed the political scene as a messiah but later graduating into Yudas Iscariot selling the transformation agenda at the altar of personal gains.

Having realized that his ambition to become president is blurred, he is fighting for the very same post he vilified in 2019. His actions are obviously for self gain, fame and nothing else related to public service. It is indeed a sickening behaviour that should have been nipped in the bud but sadly our supposedly game changer has allowed it to thrive for his own benefit.

I even have total conviction that his wife Mary, who entered the battle in 2019 by becoming a rapper, do not want to listen to that rap song any more. She also feels betrayed just like you and me.

Advice to my fellow aspiring politicians

Don’t run unless you have a chance to win. Running repeatedly is not a sound strategy when it comes to building name recognition or creating a road map to victory.

“Oh, that person has run for office and lost two times. He  definitely seems like the right choice to solve my country’s problems,” said no one, EVER. In fact, it’s often the case that the more times you run and lose, the less likely you are to win. Do the name recognition work in advance by building your credentials and credibility in your district and beyond.

More to the point, don’t decide to run and then try to justify it, sit down and ask yourself, “Why do I want to run for office?” Take a hard look at what it takes to win (qualifications, political circumstances, integrity) and with all of that information in view, make an educated decision about whether there’s a real path to victory. In that way you will not find yourself in Chilima’s situation.

Views express in this article are those of the author

Feedback: mchimulala@gmail.com

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Maneno Chimulala
Maneno Chimulalahttps://www.maravipost.com
I am a journalist, educator, and activist with passion for telling stories about social justice, sports and political issues. I graduated from Mzuzu University. I started my career at the Maravi Post online publication in 2012 as an intern while in college. Upon graduating from Mzuzu University I was offered a job as Sports Reporter because of my background as a goalkeeper and rose to the position of sub editor. I also had a short stint with Nyasatimes, Malawi Punch and Malawi Digest. Over the past seven years, I have worked intimately with rural organizations and communities in Malawi on human rights, girl child education and grassroots development projects. With an academic background in education, I also volunteer as male champion for girls’ education under Girls Empowerment Networks (GENET) in Malawi’s South West Education Division (SWED).
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Totally, agree. Chilima is amateurish but also nasty politician. But People are starting to see through his tricks.

  2. Great Analysis on the short political life of Saulos Chilima. Ready to stab in the Back his MASTER. He was brought to Malawians by Mutharika but yet his ambition made him stab Mutharika in the back. The boy is a snake

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