Peter Mutharika and Saulos Chilima

By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi

The Managing Director of Airtel Malawi has left the company and joined the Presidential race, barely a week after chaperoning the company into getting a new operating licence.

Saulos Chilima will be presidential running-mate to Malawi's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party which is being led by brother Peter Mutharika, brother to former Malawi President late Bingu wa Mutharika.

At a press briefing organised in Blantyre after presenting nomination papers to the Malawi Electoral Commission, Chilima disclosed that he was only approached to partner Peter Mutharika last Friday and described himself as a complementary brand.

"I have to resign at Airtel as well as a board member of various companies such as Inde Bank. I will become a technocratic vice-president once voted into power," Chilima declared.

He explained that when he was approached with the offer, he took some time to consult his colleagues, family, and religious leaders.

"I sacrificed my job to partner Professor Peter Mutharika, it is a big risk, not easy decision," conceded Chilima.

Chilima, born on February 12 1973, was appointed Airtel Malawi managing director in August 2010.

Malawi will hold its tripartite elections where it will elect President, members of parliament and councilors on May 20 this year.

A total of 7.5 million Malawians registered to vote in the first ever tripartite elections.

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