Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Blantyre — Malawi’s government reduced Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s security detail, days after he ditched the ruling party and declared his plans to run for president next year.

Dozens of officers who had manned his two official residences and accompanied his motorcade have been transferred, leaving him with seven personnel, Chilima’s spokesman, Pilirani Phiri, said by phone on Thursday from the capital, Lilongwe.

Police spokesman James Kadadzera did not answer his phone when Bloomberg called him seeking comment.

"What this means is that when the vice-president is traveling, he will be required to hire private security to guard his family and the official residence, which is government property," Phiri said. "It’s all politics, but we’ll survive."

Chilima, 45, left the ruling Democratic Progressive Party last month, after accusing it of condoning corruption and nepotism.

On July 21, the former CEO of Bharti Airtel’s Malawian unit announced his formation of the United Transformation Movement, with which he will be a candidate for president in elections to be held in May.

Corruption has worsened in the southern African nation since President Peter Mutharika came to power in 2014, according to the corruption perceptions index published by Transparency International, the anti-graft advocacy group.