PRESIDENT Peter Mutharika is reportedly planning to meet his deputy Saulos Chilima on Thursday in a desperate attempt to solve the ongoing leadership debate that has divided both the presidency and his Democratic Progressive Party, DPP.
This follows an alleged emergency meeting that President Mutharika summoned on Tuesday at the Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.
Parliamentarian Bon Kalindo confirmed to The Express of the closed door meeting.
He, however, failed to provide more details saying those that attended the meeting were in a better position to comment.
The lengthy meeting was allegedly attended by former cabinet minister Patricia Kaliati, parliamentarian Noel Masangwi, paramount chief Ngongoliwa and businessman Leston Mulli, among many other senior DPP officials and sympathisers.
During the impromptu gathering President Mutharika is said to have failed to convince the Chilima faction to stop supporting demands that the Vice President should be DPP’s presidential candidate in the 2019 tripartite elections.
The Chilima camp, led by Kaliati and Masangwi, apparently turned down the president’s plea. Ngongoliwa and Mulli are reportedly on Mutharika’s side.
This leadership debate in the DPP was sparked last month by President Mutharika’s sister-in-law, Callitsa Mutharika, who publicly demanded him to pave way for the youthful Chilima aged 45.
The former first lady is of the opinion that Mutharika, 79, is too old to serve as President of Malawi beyond 2019.
Mutharika, however, maintains that he is enjoying robust health and that he will contest as the DPP’s presidential candidate in the 2019 polls.