In June 2018, when Chilima resigned from the ruling party, he constructively resigned from serving with the team he was given a political mandate to serve with.
The VP position is a political deployment, which Chilima is very much aware of. It came to him on the mandate of the ruling party.
The cabinet serves the mandate of the ruling party from which the current government derives its policies. At the moment, Chilima is serving the UTM mandate. There is no UTM mandate in cabinet.
He cannot ride two horses at the same time, one as opposition, the other as a member of cabinet whose mandate is different from his.
So if Chilima’s omission from the new cabinet list is a Constitutional crisis as some put it, it is Chilima himself who has created that crisis. No one else is to blame for it.
Chilima himself told the world on BBC Hard Talk in October that he has not been working since June.
He said he has not been attending cabinet meetings since June.
He said he meets cabinet ministers only at church and at funerals and “we say hello to each other as former colleagues”.
It is Chilima who created the Constitutional crisis he faces today.
He was NEVER elected independently of the ruling party. He was elected with that collective.
On leaving the ruling party, the right thing was for Chilima to immediately resign from the cabinet as well.
Cabinet and Parliament are political environments governed by political systems. It is the nature of politics that one cannot serve two masters – or ride two horses at the same time.