Top comedian sworn In As Malawi’s Vice-President

Top comedian-turned-politician Micheal Usi has been sworn as Malawi’s vice-president at a ceremony held in parliament in the capital, Lilongwe.

The 55-year-old replaces Saulos Chilima, who died in a plane crash earlier this month, along with eight other people.

Dr Usi received a standing ovation when he spoke after his inauguration, saying he accepted the role with a mixture of sadness and gratitude.

He promised to honour his predecessor’s memory and thanked President Lazarus Chakwera for believing in him as he takes up his position as vice-president in the power-sharing government.

“he who does not take what belongs to others but only eats what’s his is a free man”.

It soon became part of a newly formed political party, the UTM, headed by Dr Chilima.

This was ahead of the 2019 elections – and Dr Usi and Dr Chilima started addressing rallies together.

Both being highly eloquent speakers, their meetings often drew huge crowds and in February 2019, Chilima named his new political associate as his running mate for the vote.

The pair came third, but the results were then nullified by the high court because of irregularities.

In fresh elections that were held in 2020, the UTM joined eight other opposition political parties to form an electoral alliance, which picked Dr Chakwera as presidential candidate with Dr Chilima as the running mate, which went on to victory.

Dr Usi, was by this stage Chilima’s deputy and was named in cabinet as minister of tourism, culture and wildlife, a position he held between July 2020 and February 2023.

He later moved to become the minister of natural resources and climate change, his role until his elevation to vice-president.

Some senior members of the UTM were notable by their absence at his inauguration on Friday – signalling division in the party over his appointment.

Dr Usi did not evade the issue at his swearing-in, promising to get the party together so that they could heal and honour the legacy of Chilima, who was regarded as a magnetic politician with a special connection with people, especially the youth.


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