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Saulos Chilima hints at running mate

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

CHILIMA—Progress has been made

Vice-President and UTM torchbearer, Saulos Chilima, Wednesday said he would unveil his running-mate during submission of presidential nomination papers in Blantyre on Wednesday.

Addressing the press in Lilongwe, Chilima also said UTM would announce its stance on coalition plans in the next 48 hours.

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“A lot of progress has been made and people are still talking. Since different parties have constitutions, once they make a final decision, communication will be made,” he said.

Chilima also took a swipe at President Peter Mutharika for failing to end political violence in the country, despite preaching peace.

Chilima said political intolerance, which, he said, Mutharika’s supporters are perpetrating, is contributing to the erosion of good governance in Malawi.

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Chilima said Mutharika must end impunity and arrogance that his supporters are advancing ahead of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

“You cannot, Mr President, allow your few supporters to break the law with arrogance, impunity and shamelessly stand on a podium to preach peace. This hypocrisy must stop. You cannot stand on a podium and advocate peaceful elections and at the same time, close your eyes to the realities of ugliness of uncivility of violence from your camp,” he said.

Chilima said Mutharika must also understand that police are mandated to protect Malawians and not criminals.

He faulted Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for perpetrating terror and intimidation, saying this was a strategy to rig elections.

“Through the use of compromised law enforcement agencies, surrogate gang of uncouth gangs, the DPP leadership has unleashed a wave of satanic terror and violence on its own people.

“Our message to you is simple: we have had enough of rhetoric from political podiums. We want action from you and we call for an end to political violence once and for all. You have no excuse.” Chilima said

The UTM leader was referring to the assault of Veronica Katanga, Mulanje Member of Parliament Bon Kalindo and Malawi Congress Party follower Edward Govati, among other incidents.

In reaction, State House spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani, Wednesday dismissed Chilima’s accusations, saying the police have brought to book 12 suspected perpetrators of recent cases of violence in Mangochi District.

“The police have further said, as far as they are concerned, their investigations have revealed that none of the suspects in the Mangochi violence is a DPP member.

“What is the basis of Dr Chilima’s allegations that the suspects are DPP members? Guess work? Is he faulting the police investigation? If he has evidence contrary to what the police said, why not provide it? The police published the names of the suspects apprehended. Why is it difficult for him to tell the nation who among the suspects is a DPP member?” Kalilani said.

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