Tonse Alliance running mate in the forthcoming presidential election Saulos Chilima has said the alliance’s presidency will rotate and that he is poised to take over from the current torchbearer Lazarus Chakwera.
Chilima repeated the remarks on what is contained in the alliance between Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM and seven other parties that formed the Tonse Alliance, when he addressed a campaign rally alongside Chakwera.
“We have agreed that this time around it will be Dr Chakwera to lead and we should all support him. Next time it will be me leading the alliance,” he said.
UTM Secretary- General Patricia Kaliati said what Chilima was saying was stipulated in the agreement that the presidency will be rotating.
However, her MCP counterpart, Eisenhower Mkaka, said he does not know the actual contents of the agreement between Chakwera and Chilima.
But political scientist Henry Chingaipe said Chilima is only giving hints of what might be in his agreement with Chakwera but it cannot necessarily be what is in the deal.
Chingaipe said it is not surprising that other senior party members in the alliance may not be aware of the actual contents of the deal which was arrived at by Chakwera and Chilima alone.
“While some elements of the alliance were agreed at party level, there are other things which were agreed by the two leaders only. What Chilima is doing is only to give us hints of what they might have agreed and it is not an indication of conflict whatsoever if they win,” he said.
Addressing a crowd at Nsangwe Ground in Chikwawa, Chakwera pledged to transform irrigation farming in the two Shire Valley districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje.
“I have heard of how neglected cotton farming is. Every year, huge sums of money are pumped into the Green Belt Authority with nothing to show for. There are many rivers which are not being utilised in Chikwawa and Nsanje. If we utilise these rivers, we cannot face hunger at all,” he said.
Chilima said Malawi must remain united from Nsanje to Chitipa and that nobody should destroy the country based on regional, religious or tribal lines.
The tour went through Chapananga in Chikwawa West and Tengani in Nsanje Central Constituency before the two leaders addressed the main rally at Nsangwe Ground in Chikwawa South Constituency.