Malawi vice-president Chilima launched political party

Malawi’s vice-president Saulos Chilima launched his own political party to run against the government in elections next year, persisting in his public criticism on President Peter Mutharika’s cabinet.

Chilima, 45, was handpicked Mutharika to run alongside him in 2014 on the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) ticket.

But Chilima quit the DPP last month citing corruption and nepotism.

Following mounting calls for him to run in the May 2019 vote, he launched the United Transformation Movement (UTM) in the capital Lilongwe, seeking to unseat the 79-year-old Mutharika.

“It is because of the rot that we are seeing all over that we are launching UTM,” Chilima said.

“We should not allow people to continue treating us like fools. Everyone should have a bright future regardless of where they come from or the political party they support.”

The ruling party has been plagued by calls from civil action groups for its leader to resign after a leaked report by the Anti-Corruption Bureau accused Mutharika of receiving a $195,000 (167,000 euros) kickback from a contract to supply food to the police.

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