Chilima – I will challenge Mutharika for presidency

LILONGWE (AFP) –Malawi’s Vice President Saulosi Klaus Chilima on Wednesday put his hat in the ring for the 2019 presidential election against his incumbent Peter Mutharika, who is embroiled in a growing corruption scandal.

The vice president broke ranks with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) last month when he quit the party citing unchecked corruption and nepotism.

“I am ready to contest,” he said Wednesday. “If we follow a process that is transparent and democratic, I will present myself as a candidate.”

“In the next 10 days, a decision will be made on whether I will go it alone as an independent candidate or as part of an alliance or grand coalition.” Chilima said in an interview with Zodiak Broadcasting Station in Lilongwe.

Chilima said his decision to contest the vote follows calls from various stakeholders for him to stand in the election scheduled for May 2019.

His announcement came a day after president Mutharika accepted the nomination of his ruling party, despite being at the epicentre of a leaked report from the country’s anti-graft body accusing him of fraud.

Civil action groups have called for Mutharika to resign over claims that he and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) received about $195,000 (167,000 euros) from a contractor supplying food rations to the police