Well, yes, apparently things are getting better and better on the Chilima front.
Recently, a video and accompanied photos showing Chilima struggling to walk properly and having difficulty getting out of his car during a rally in Mchinji, went viral.
The sequence provoked a widespread outcry across the socio-political spectrum of the country, as various prominent politicians argued that this propensity is unfathomable for a leader.
The Former Malawi Vice President Khumbo Hastings Kachali heavily criticized Saulos Chilima for holding rallies while drunk, adding that this tendency is uncalled for someone who aspires to hold the country’s highest office.
The aforementioned photos led to further speculation that Chilima could potentially -also- be a drug addict.
Writing on his official Facebook page, Kachali said that all Presidential candidates need to follow the canonical decorum.
“It is not appropriate for a presidential aspirant to address meetings while drunk. That’s poor leadership. Those in the know have it that one presidential aspirant was drunk during a rally he addressed in Mchinji up to the point he was failing to walk. The same aspirant got very drunk when he addressed another rally at Lunzu. This is uncalled for, fellow citizens,” wrote Kachali.
It has been reported in the local press that Chilima’s confidants have repeatedly tried to address this issue and have even taken it up with Chilima himself, but he appears less-than-cooperative. According to media sources, a well-placed, anonymous insider claimed that Chilima is actually a shy person and he is also very stressed; so, he drinks and takes cocaine to deal with his shyness and to alleviate his stress. Nevertheless, Chilima’s faux-pas are irremediably destroying the Movement’s public image leaving his close circle increasingly unhappy, as they know the amount of work they will need to put in for the group to re-gain its good reputation.
As if all these were not enough, Chilima has failed to prove his leadership qualities in general, as the group is hampered by infighting which he is struggling to manage. There is great concern that he is failing to provide a sense of direction for the group. This paired with his -currently- extremely fragile mental equilibrium, is leading some of his acolytes to pull out of the Movement and work either as independents or with other political parties.
What about UTM’s future
On the other hand, Chilima’s close retinue seems quite uncertain regarding the future of the movement as it struggles to get registered as a political party.
According to reports, the Registrar of Political Parties dismissed its application two weeks ago on the grounds that it provided an invalid name in order to avoid being rejected -since there is already a registered party with a similar name, UTP (United Transformation Party), which is led by businessman Newton Kambala-. The matter is in court now but Chilima’s entourage is uncertain that the case will be concluded in good time for the Chilima Movement to get ready and compete in the elections next year.
Along the same lines, some of the Movement’s bigwigs feel that they have demonstrated a high level of political incompetence in handling the registration issue, as the group now faces the bleak prospect of failing to participate in the upcoming elections.
UTM’s Financial Situation
UTM initially emerged on the stage with evidence of a strong financial background. Its branding, vehicles and group paraphernalia left many Malawians wondering about the Movement’s financial calibre.
However, the truth is that the UTM is struggling with finances as the few financiers who thought that the UTM had any political potential, are incrementally withdrawing their support, upon realizing that the UTM is an unsuccessful project and is doomed to fail.
Moreover, some of Chilima’s acolytes are becoming increasingly unmotivated to promote the Movement, as Chilima is not sharing with them the money that he is receiving from some financiers.