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Former Scottish First Minister McConnell salutes Malawi VP Chilima

LONDON-(MaraviPost)-Former First Minister of Scotland Jack McConnell has hailed Vice-President Saulos Chilima for what he described as a “very strong analysis of development” in Malawi.

McConnell, who is a life peer in Britain’s House of Lords, posted this on Twitter yesterday when the Vice-President met him and other leaders in London and discussed agriculture, energy, corruption, capacity building, trade, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Scotland-Malawi relations, among others.

He twitted: “Very strong analysis of current developments in #Malawi from VP Chilima in London today.”

The Vice-President, who is also leading the newly formed United Transformation Movement (UTM) that is promoting his presidential campaign in the presidential race in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections, arrived in the UK on Sunday for private engagements, including addressing Chatham House and students at Cambridge University, according to his press officer Pilirani Phiri.

In a statement yesterday, Phiri said Chilima is expected to speak at Chatham House and Cambridge University tomorrow.

Chatham House is the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London which analyses and promotes the understanding of international issues affairs.

President Peter Mutharika, his predecessors Joyce Banda and Bingu wa Mutharika have previously addressed the house.

Chilima speak on Public Service, Accountability and Delivery in Malawi.

But the Office of the Vice-President has since clarified that Chilima will not deliver a keynote speech at the London Political Summit as earlier planned.

Social media reports suggested that Chilima was scheduled to address an awards ceremony where Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and former prime minister Raila Odinga would be decorated with the Black History Month and African Peace Award following their peace accord handshake which ended political hostility after Kenya’s 2017 election.

The website said the summit would focus on narrow and broad concepts of political will to act and the public’s will-power to react in the context of an individual leader or collective leadership actions.

The Vice-President broke ranks with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on June 6 this year and declared he will challenge President Peter Mutharika in the presidential race in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

Chilima—whom President Peter Mutharika picked as running mate from the private sector in January 2014 where he served as Airtel Malawi managing director—had a visibly rosy relationship with the establishment until his declaration and the President subsequently stripped him his Cabinet portfolio of minister Responsible for Disaster Management Affairs and in-charge of National Public Events.