Chimunthu announces candidacy for DPP leadership contest:Malawi Speaker challenges Peter Mutharika

Malawi National Assembly Speaker, Henry Chimunthu Banda, has formally announced that he ready to throw his hat into the ring for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leadership contest during the party’s indaba next month.

Chimunthu Banda confirmed on Tuesday that would put himself forward as candidate capable of rebuilding the DPP.

“I am going to contest for DPP presidency at the convention,” said Chimunthu Banda on Zodiak Broadcasting Service (ZBS) interview monitored by Nyasa Times on  Tuesday.

His announcement comes after DPP spokesman and convention chairperson Nicholous Dausi said there was no other person who collected nomination forms to challenge Peter Mutharika for the post.

Speaker Chimunthu Banda: Hands- Challenging Peter Mutharika

Speaker Chimunthu Banda: Hands- Challenging Peter Mutharika

Chimunthu Banda said he has been making consultations and that “basing on the outcome of consultation there is overwhelming support for me to run for presidency.”

He said: “I have therefore decided to submit myself to the will of the people.”

Chimunthu Banda in exclusive interview with ZBS’s Pilarani Phiri,  said the “hallmark of democracy is to give people freedom of choice.”

The Malawi Speaker said his come in to run for presidency in the party demonstrates that DPP is “democratic and progressive”.

Chimunthu described himself as a “tried and tested” leader who held the position of secretary-general of the party successfully when DPP managed an overwhelming majority in 2009 polls.

He however called for credible polls at the DPP indaba.

“The playing field has to be leveled not just on the day of the convention but the totality of the process leading to convention has to be transparent,” he said.

Chimunthu Banda said his relationship with Mutharika “has remained cordial”.

“My standing ought not to be deemed to be a sign of enemity between the two of us,” he said.

Peter Mutharika is on record slandering Chimunthu Banda.

DPP members have been trying to persuade Chimunthu Banda to join the contest when the party holds its national convention in April.

Since the demise of President Bingu wa Mutharika in April, some wondered whether Chimunthu Banda still belonged to the former ruling party after many of its legislators ditched the party for President Joyce Banda’s People’s Party (PP).

Malawi’s next general elections will be in 2014.

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