By Desire Elizabeth Mtawali
Immediate former Vice-president who also Leader of UTM Saulos Chilima says the political rallies he has been conducting across the country after the elections are not campaign events.
He said this in Ntcheu on Sunday when his party celebrated UTM Day, one-year anniversary since the launch of political party.
Chilima’s sentiments follow criticism by the Malawi Law Society (MLS) that political parties are using thank You rallies as a means of reminding the public about political party manifestos the way it is done during the campaign period. The society reminded political parties that campaign is done two months before polling day.But responding to the criticism at a rally in Ntcheu district on Sunday, Chilima said he wants to stay close to the people of Malawi by holding rallies across the country.
“Some are saying this is campaign, sorry this not campaign but I am just reminding people what I promised,” said Chilima.During the rally, Chilima reminded his supporters of his party’s promises to introduce mega farms, create jobs and economically transform the country.He assured the UTM members that the party will one day be in government and fulfil the promises saying funds for all projects are already there and what is needed is to first end corruption.
UTM party president called upon President Peter Mutharika to step down for failing to fix the economic, political and social problems facing the country.
“Today people are buying one bag of fertilizer at K30,000. Sorry, if I were the president of this country that amount would have been for six bags,” he said.The former vice president came third in the disputed May 21 presidential elections and his party won four parliamentary seats.
Chilima also retaliate calls for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chair Jane Ansah to resign for allegedly messing up the May 21 presidential poll results in favour of Mutharika.
“We are not pushing for her resignation because she is a woman, there was a woman before her but no one took to the streets to protest against her, we just don’t want her there because she has failed as MEC chair to discharge her duties,” said Chilima.
However, the party joined the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) in challenging the results of the presidential elections.
Chilima then said he would be joining the bi-weekly Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) sanctioned peaceful protests on Tuesday in Blantyre to force Ansah resign from her position.
He then called on Malawians to join the peaceful protests, saying they are for a good cause but urged those participating to avoid violence or breaking of private and public property.
“We should be protesting until what we want is achieved,” said Chilima.
Ansah is accused of fraudulently gifting DPP presidential candidate Peter Mutharika victory in the Presidential Election. The matter is in court.