The trust and love that confusionists failed to break between Chakwera and Chilima

Without any grain of doubt, the departed Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima will go in the annals of Malawi’s history as the most loved, celebrated and revered Second Citizen.

Chilima is certainly the first Vice President whose life and service touched the lives of every Malawian. He worked for the good of everyone, without considering one’s social, political, economic, regional, ethnic affiliation.

President Chakwera (left) and his vice Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima were usually together during government events
President Chakwera (left) and his vice Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima were usually together during government events

Those who have worked with him say, throughout his entire service at the Capital Hill, the departed Vice President dedicated his life towards transforming lives of the poor, the elderly, the youth and the most neglected in the society.

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has, on several occasions, confessed before Malawians how he benefited from the cordial relationship between him and his vice.

President Chakwera respected his Second in Command and ensured that he [Chilima] did his job to the perfection he was known for.

He never castigated Chilima in public as has been the case with former presidents and their vices.

October 18, 2021, President Chakwera described the late Vice President as his mechanic who was fixing the country while he [Chakwera] is the driver of a minibus responsible for delivering developments to Malawians.

This is a demonstration of faith that Chkawera had in Chilima,

“The measure of success by which Malawians are evaluating our collective performance is whether jobs, wealth and food security we promised them are being delivered. For that to happen, not only must each part do its work without fail, but all the parts must work together to ensure that delivery is accomplished,” said the President.

It seemed, however, that this cordial working relationship did not please greedy politicians within and without Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party.

And amid speculations that Chakwera and Chilima were not in talking terms, the President rose to occasion to denounce politics of divisions.

On February 1, 2024, President Chakwera told Malawians how hard some confusionists were working to divide the two. But he vowed that he could not fight his vice because that would not benefit anyone.

“I know there are some people who want me to be fighting with different people, including my Vice President, and some cabinet ministers. But that is not my system of politics. The politics I know is to initiate development projects in all parts of the country, regardless of tribe and region. And I am ready to work with everyone who is committed to assist me develop this country, even with those who criticised me in the past,” he said.

President Chakwera wondered how the nation would benefit from the estranged relationship between him and the departed Vice President.

“This country has been facing a number of challenges ranging from cyclones, cholera, Covid-19, dry-spells and many more. These occurrences have brought a lot of pain on people’s lives such as lack of food and money. So with these challenges, should we continue castigating each other?” he asked.

At this point, President Chakwera challenged politicians to stop politics of name calling and castigation, stressing that this is counterproductive.

But this was not enough to compel confusionists to stop their divisive behavior. When the plane crashed in Chikangawa Forest, killing Chilima and eight others on board, the confusionists were up in arms creating fake news about the accident.

They created many conspiracy theories merely to bring hatred between Chakwera, the bereaved family and UTM Party.

It was soothing though in his speech, the President gave hope to Malawians during this difficult time.

Chakwera understood the complexities of mourning and promised to forgo vengeance in the face of accusations and finger-pointing.

His promise to institute an independent investigation into the plane crash and the delays in search efforts shows a commitment to transparency and accountability.

President Chakwera has certainly exhibited remarkable strength and resilience while demonstrating to the world how he loved his Vice President with sincerity.

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