Former Malawi Assemblies of God president Lazarus Chakwera has been elected Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president i during the party’s national convention held in Lilongwe on Saturday.
Chakwera, 58-years-old, defeated former Secretary General Chris Daza retired Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo; former Cabinet Minister Jodder Kanjere; former secretary general Betson Majoni; MPs Joseph Njobvuyalema (Lilongwe Mapuyu South); Watson Makala-Ngozo (Lilongwe Mpenu); former director of political affairs Eston Kakhome; former President of Farmers Union of Malawi Felix Jumbe; and former MP Lytton Dzombe.
He amassed 287 votes out of 652 cast and will now represent the MCP in the next year’s presidential race.
Munlo came second with 169 votes whereas former secretary general Chris Daza came third with 90 votes, followed by former parliamentarian Lytton Dzombe with 24 votes, former Cabinet minister Jodder Kanjere with 21, former Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) president Felix Jumbe with 19 and Nkhotakota Central legislator Edwin Banda got 14.
Lilongwe Mpenu Member of Parliament (MP) Watson Makala-Ngozo garnered eight votes. Former secretary general Betson Majoni and MP Joseph Njobvuyalema (Lilongwe Mapuyu South) had seven each whereas former director of political affairs Eston Kakhome came last with six votes. Seven votes were null and void.< Returning officer from the Malawi Electoral Commission declared Chakwera as duly elected president of the MCP. [caption id="attachment_54763" align="alignright" width="600"] MCP president e-elect: Rev Chakwera and his wife[/caption]
Chakwera replaces 81-year-old John Tembo who was earlier rejected by the delegates to seek a third term bid.
Tembo said it was his hope that all the candidates who emerged during the campaign will still be there even after the election and continue working for the party.
Speaking during the opening of the party’s convention, Tembo called on the party members to continue being united and observe the party’s four cornerstones to ensure that MCP remains strong and have the chance of coming back into government next year.
He said it is only by upholding the values and four cornerstones of the party of Unity, Discipline, Obedience and Loyalty as propagated by the party’s founding President the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda, that the party can successfully move forward and reclaim its glory.
“Ngwazi taught us values and four cornerstones and for the party to prosper there is need for dedication, perseverance and endurance which is a reflection of the journey that the party has travelled. There are a lot of people who have travelled with the party with some of them facing arrests along the way,” said Tembo.
Tembo advised those who are now old and have worked for the party for a long time were free to retire.
“Some of you might wish to follow me into retiring,” he said.
The MCP president-elect will make his official acceptance speech on Sunday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :