Defeated. President Peter Mutharika has finally given in to demands of his wife, First Lady Gertrude Mutharika and his trusted security aide Norman Paulos Chisale to pick little known Ntcheu MP Everton Chimulirenji as his runningmate in the watershed May elections.
We can exclusively confirm that Mutharika will unveil Chimulirenji as his running mate when he presents his nomination papers to the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) at the Comesa Hall in Blantyre Friday afternoon.
We earlier reported that the First Lady and Chisale were pushing for the name of Chimulirenji to partner the President in the elections because of his district of origin where, ironically Chisale comes from and the First Lady in the neighbouring district of Balaka.
“It is now a done deal. Chimulirenji will be on the ballot as President Mutharika’s runningmate. The President had to choose between Chimulirenji and Local Government Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa and he chose Chimulirenji,” said an impeccable source privy to the going ons at State.
Chisale and the First Lady at first failed to convince Mutharika to pick Education Minister and DPP Vice President for the Eastern Region Bright Msaka for the running mate position.
The First Lady and Chisale, who come from Balaka and Ntcheu, respectively are desparete to see another vice president from the Eastern Region.
Ironically, the two were decampaigning Atupele Muluzi who comes from Machinga- despite having a well-known political constituency.
The Atupele deal fell through after the young Muluzi presented his nomination papers to represent the UDF in the elections.
“Chisale and the First Lady have calculated the move that this is APM’s last term and they don’t want APM to handover the party to someone from the Lhomwe belt hence their insistence on Chimulirenji who is from the Eastern Region where they come from, ” said the source.
“You must also know that Chisale and the First Lady are the two individuals who have amassed so much wealth within the four years and they are looking at the individuals who would protect them and they dont see anyone from the Lhomwe belt,” added the source.
“In fact the two are richer than the President,” revealed the source.
However, Chimulirenji’s choice has once again ignited controversy within the ranks and file of DPP as many are questioning his popularity.