UTM leadership and its supporters live in the world of their own. Theirs is the world of “anything goes” where breaking of the law is accepted as the new normal. In their world they are the law and wrongs become right as long as its them.
As the saying goes that “shake the grass to see the snake”, President Chakwera’s decision to withhold delegated responsibilities to Vice President Saulos Chilima at the back of the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s report implicating him in the Zunneth Sattar’s corruption case has seen the Vice President and his supporters crying foul.
The UTM believes the corruption allegations against their leader is merely political mechanization orchestrated by MCP in order to get their leader out ahead of 2025 elections.
To them their leader cannot do any wrong and even if he was to be found on the wrong side of the law, he should not be taken to task to answer for his sins.
This is why in the wake of Chilima’s corruption scandal, his supporters are still acting as if nothing is wrong with someone of that high standing as a Vice President of a country is being linked to allegations of receiving bribes to influence award of contracts.
This week they have been flooding the social media with two narrative either they are writing words like ‘’SKC ndi mfana oganiza bwino akumunamizira’’, or they are resigning to the fact that he may have corruptly benefited from Sattar but they are prepared to defend him by saying ‘’wakuba yemweyo ndiwathuti timuteteza’’ meaning he is our thief but we will defend him to death.
What UTM is doing is contrary to the principles on which the party or a movement was founded. UTM was founded on the premise of getting rid of corruption. Among other things Chilima said he did not want to associate himself with the corrupt DPP administration.
It was his anti-corruption stance against the Mutharika government which generated some goodwill that consequently gave birth to UTM. Two years down the line the man who advocated for a corrupt-free country is a corruption suspect himself who unfortunately feels he is too big to face the law. Following the crippling of his delegated responsibilities, on Thursday the office of Vice President issued a scathing press release which indirectly attacked the State President for allowing him to be interrogated by the ACB.
Part of the statement reads: “The State Vice President wishes to state that while the Bureau’s efforts to fight corruption deserves the unwavering support of all well-meaning Malawians, the fight must always be waged within the confines of the law. It must not be abused for political or other objectives.”
The Vice President himself had to weigh in as he faced his cheering supporters gathered at his houses in area 43 in the heat of the news that the ACB was to question him.
In a defiant tone (the VP’s tone sounded like someone who do not want to cooperate with ACB) he said: “In 2020 we were saying lets’ humble ourselves and we humbled ourselves and we continue doing so but this humility should not be mistaken for foolishness.”
In both statements the message is not necessarily the conduct of the ACB but he is blaming some political forces for influencing the ACB operations to victimize him.
Clearly, President Chakwera has a bigger problem in the fight against corruption than corruption itself. If this is the route that UTM and Chilima would want to take, then Chilima being the second citizen in this country with so much influence, then the fight is lost before it even starts. It is apparent that the Vice President and his henchmen are ready to do anything in the book to frustrate this commitment to fight corruption.
Judging by Chilima’s statements and innuendos it’s clear that President Chakwera is alone in this battle.
But then, is it not strange that President Chakwera has support from the unlikely source? While UTM was busy watering down President Chakwera’s efforts in fighting corruption, the United Democratic Front (UDF) threw its weight behind the state President. The press release signed by its party president Lilian Patel and Secretary General Kandi Padambo the party said they support President Chakwera’s efforts in fighting corruption.
Part of the Statement reads: ‘’ The United Democratic Front fully support the commitment of the state President in fighting corruption as reflected in his national address.”
Meanwhile the Vice President is advancing the victimization narrative in order to buy sympathy from the public and make the ACB work difficult. Luckily, President Chakwera has set the tone that there will be no sacred cows in the fight against corruption and so it will remain. But UTM needs to be told in the strongest terms that there is no one above the law.