MULANJE (Muchanakhwaye Khwepeya, Malawi NewsNow ) – A handful protesters clad in Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-branded T-shirts and party cloth on Friday marched from Chitakale trading centre to the district commissioner’s office in Mulanje to present a petition against Mulanje West director of women Patricia Kaliati and her husband, Angie, who is Mulanje Pasani member of Parliament (MP).
The party’s regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha said the protesters were angry with Kaliati because she was among DPP functionaries canvassing for the presidential candidacy of Vice-President Saulos Chilima over President Peter Mutharika at the party’s elective convention set for this month.
Mchacha said President Mutharika sympathisers were showing their displeasure at Kaliati for being in the Chilima Movement, a faction of DPP national governing council (NGC) members and legislators pushing forward Chilima’s name for the party’s presidency.
Kaliati has since described Mutharika as a clueless leader.
The protests came weeks after the DPP office in Mulanje organised protests against Mulanje South legislator Bon Kalindo who is also an open supporter of Chilima.
Mutharika is facing an unprecedented resistance for an incumbent—eligible for a second term as per the Malawi Constitution—from some DPP members canvassing for Chilima’s candidacy.
Former first lady Callista Mutharika—widow of Bingu who was the incumbent President’s elder brother—sparked the succession debate weeks ago when she said her in-law, 79, should pave the way for the comparatively youthful and energetic Chilima, 45, widely seen as a hands-on and results-oriented leader after he vibrantly led the Public Sector Reforms Programme that has since lost steam after being moved from his domain.