The Office of the Vice President is the second highest office in command. All along Malawi has not been a democratic state up until 1994 when the 31 year old rule and hold on power by the Malawi Congress Party ended.
The first Malawi’s multiparty elections that ere held in 1994 ushered in the United Democratic Front (UDF) under the leadership of Dr Bakili Muluzi whose deputy was Justin Malewezi from 1994 to 2004.
However, history has shown us that Malawian heads of state have their own approach for the office of the vice president considering the events that befall the office.
For instance, in 2004 on 1st January, having been sidelined by ruling United Democratic Front as the party’s torch bearer as its presidential candidate, Malewezi decided to quit the party and he openly criticized the party’s chairman for handpicking Bingu wa Mutharika as its presidential candidate in the 2004 presidential elections.
The development led to the choosing of Cassim Chilumpha as Mutharika’s running mate under UDF ticket in the May 2004 general elections and eventually became Malawi’s vice president.
Chilumpha’s grace with Mutharika ended in 2006 when he sacked him as vice president of the Republic of Malawi claiming that Chilumpha was running a parallel government and undermining its integrity and was later accused of treason.
The High Court granted an injunction to prevent Chilumpha’s dismissal.
By then president Mutharika had formed his Democratic Progressive Party and during the 2009 general elections he chose Joyce Banda as his running mate.
She later served as Malawi’s first female vice president. However, events turned sour in 2010 as she was fired as vice president accused of running anti party activities. The court blocked Mutharika firing her on constututional grounds.
However, the roles performed by the vice president were continuously being performed by the then first lady Callista Mutharika. Banda continued to serve as vice president of Malawi as stipulated in the constitution.
People’s Party was born in 2011 after she was completely expelled from the ruling DPP.
On constitutional grounds she was ushered into power following the death of president Mutharika on 5 April 2012.
As head of state, President Joyce Banda took Khumbo Kachali as his deputy and he was ear marked as Malawi’s first vice president to emerge from the northern region but in the 2014 general elections, Sosten Gwengwe was named president Banda’s running mate. She was heavily defeated in the general elections.
The May 2014 general elections saw the Democratic Progressive Party carrying the day under the leadership of Peter wa Mutharika with his deputy Saulo Klaus Chilima. Recently, things have spiraled the other way round in the ruling DPP as we have seen Chilima forming his United Transformation Movement.
The trend has been the same for the county’s vice presidents and it can be termed as the betrayal of democracy by head of states to bull dose the office of the vice president and the treatment rendered to the office holder. The same votes that were democratically casted to usher them into office were the same as their deputies.
And the Tonse alliance came into power, one year later the cream that was between the president and his Vice started to sour as Saulos Klaus Chilima was accused of corruption and the now President Dr Mc Cathy Chakwera pulled out all duties that assignment to the office of the Vice president to his office, the relationship between the two still unknown.