Daggers drawn as Chilima spills contents of Tonse agreement

Saulos Chilima
  • Dr. Chakwera and Chilima would each have a five year term

  • Any departure from the agreement amounts to political fraud

The contents of the Tonse Alliance agreement which have since signing in March 2020 remained highly guarded and unknown to the wider public have finally been made known by estranged Vice President Saulos Chilima.

In his Friday address, Chilima argued that since the Alliance is a product of popular demand, it is imperative for people to have a fair idea of what was agreed upon.

It was formed by many partners on the premise of unity of purpose to put up a common front in a process of fostering political unity and bringing liberation to Malawi.

He stated that so many contributed towards the success of the alliance through time, prayer food, life and money in representing the aspirations of Malawians.

The UTM President was quick to add that his party didn’t join for political convenience but that beyond the fresh Presidential elections, the immense challenges rocking the nation could only be defeated through unity of purpose and harnessing available capacities and capabilities across the nation.

Chilima and Chakwera captured in this file photo during the historic signing of the Tonse Alliance

Chilima indicated that the Alliance came due to public demand and popular will and called on the need to guard against any attempts to nip in the bud any regressive elements that would divert efforts to fighting division and petty bickering.

While acknowledging the agreement was premised on trust, mutual interest and common desire for a better Malawi, he noted that a few things remain outstanding and need resolutions.

Perhaps the sticky and contentious one would be the agreement on the pre-election component.

“And in the Pre-election contest, the following was agreed: That the Presidents of the Malawi Congress Party and the UTM shall agree in writing who would be candidate and who would be running mate.

“That subject to the decision of the national executive committees or conventions, as the case may be, of the UTM and the Malawi Congress Party, the presidential candidate during the fresh presidential election of 23 June, 2020 shall not be the presidential candidate during the immediate next election and shall cede the candidacy to the running mate in the fresh presidential election of 23 June, 2020.

“Beyond this, I would like to state that the Agreement was signed for a period 10 years in which both Dr. Chakwera and I would support one another to lead for one term. Any departure from the agreement amounts to political fraud,” he said.

The Tonse alliance leadership

According to the Vice President, if there is insistence the best would be to terminate the alliance now and in all honesty have to call for Presidential elections.

“The moments we faced death during the campaign period will not be erased by a statement made by a hungry member of the Alliance who rants because they would want to earn their space at the dinner table by spewing garbage on national or other television station. We should not allow history to be changed because someone or some people have now just realized that power which should be shared has become sweeter and begin to display as much excitement as a 2-year old at the sight of candy.

“I wish to remind members of the Tonse Alliance that we NEVER at any stage promised Malawians another campaign, we promised them the Land of Canaan. And our mission should, therefore, solely be to get them there. If, for whatever reason, our mission is challenged, we should own up and re-engage the people of Malawi and explain why the course must change”.


During the address, he brushed aside any attempts in name calling, abuse, arrogance, humiliation or indeed violence for something he said came into being amid smiles and a sense of hope for many generations.

The UTM President clearly indicated that any departure from the Agreement amounts to political fraud not only on the parties to the Agreement, but also on the popular will that mandated the Alliance in the first place.

He reiterated that his service to the nation remains intact adding he would not be moved by any amount of propaganda, innuendo, insult, humiliation as UTM, are a big part of this Administration.

His address comes amid speculations of his alleged corrupt dealings with UK based businessman Zuneth Sattar.