In a rare turn of events, Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V of Mzimba and Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe of Rumphi have endorsed Peter Mutharika’s 2019 presidential bid.
The two chiefs, who have for a long time been regarded as apolitical, made the endorsement during separate rallies, last week, which President Mutharika held in Rumphi and Mzimba during his tour of the region.
Last Thursday, while Mutharika held a rally at Bolero, after laying a foundation stone for the Rumphi-Nyika-Chitipa Road, Chikulamayembe said Mutharika will win the election without hurdles.
He said starting of the road project and the completion of the Nkhata Bay-Mzuzu Road were indications that Mutharika is development-oriented; hence, people will give him votes during the 2019 polls.
Said Chikulamayembe: “I have spoken. Mutharika will go through the polls. If anyone has a case against me on that, then they can come to arrest me! I am saying this from deep down of my heart. I am one person who doesn’t like talking just for the sake of it, if you were going to lose, I could have told you.”
At a public rally which Mutharika held last Saturday at Mpherembe, M’mbelwa said the President is one of the few leaders who have done a lot in the country; hence the need for people to vote for him in next year’s elections.
DPP treasurer general Jappie Mhango said endorsement by the two chiefs was an indication that Mutharika will win next year’s election with a landslide.
Mutharika himself said he was happy to have received such endorsement from the traditional leaders. He pledged continued development projects for the region so that it gets at par with other areas in the country.
However, spokesperson for the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Reverend Maurice Munthali, has said the two chiefs are only expressing their opinions.
“We should bear in mind that these chiefs are not necessarily speaking on behalf of their subjects because the freedom of choice, particularly of who the President of this country should be, is not confined in their chieftaincy,” said Munthali.