Minister of Sports and Rumphi East lawmakers Enoch Chihana has declared his candidature for the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) presidency at the forthcoming party convention and declared that the party will campaign for President Joyce Banda in the next year’s elections.
According to Aford publicity secretary Dan Msowoya, the party’s convention might take place in April at Marymount girls secondary school in the northern city of Mzuzu.
Chihana, who is national chairman of Aford, told a rally he addressed at Rumphi boma on Tuesday, that his candidature for the presidency aim to rebuild the party.
“I am answering to our members’ call that I get involved in the rebuilding of this party prior to the 2014 elections,” he said. “I have therefore decided that I will contest for the position of Aford president.”
Chihana said Aford will campaign for President Banda and her People’s Party ahead of the tripartite elections.
”AFORD is 100 percent in government and we will ensure that President Joyce Banda remains in power,” said Chihana.
He added:” Infact i will camp in tthe north targeting all districts in ensuring that I bring the votes to the president’s party in the general elections.”
He said on parliamentary elections, his party will field candidates to rival Peoples Party aspiring candidates.
Chihana said AFORD has trust in the Banda government saying it is on the right track to revive the county’s economy.
Aford was founded by fire-brand pro-democracy campaigner Chakufwa Chihana in 1992 after the Catholic Church made the first direct challenge to the then one-party dictatorship under Hastings Kamuzu Banda and his Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
The party swooped all the 33 parliamentary seats in the northern region and three more in the central district of Kasungu making it the king-maker despite Chihana losing the presidency to Bakili Muluzi in the first multiparty elections in 30 years in 1994.
To balance power in Parliament Muluzi invited Aford into an alliance with the then ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) and made Chihana Second Vice-President.
The party’s fortunes started waning when Chihana unilaterally dumped the government accusing it of corruption. Aford ministers who went into cabinet with him refused to follow him out of government. The party split into two with one faction forming a rival party.
By the time Chihana died in 2006 the party only had six seats in the 193-member Parliament. Currently it only has two MPs – Khwauli Msiska and party chairman Enoch Chihana, the founder’s son.
Both Msiska and Chihana are ministers in President Joyce Banda’s Peoples Party-led government.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :