Malawi Speaker Chimunthu quitting frontline politics

Speaker of the Malawi parliament, Henry Chimunthu Banda  on Monday announced that he is quitting frontline party politics.

Chimunthu Banda, an educationist by profession,  said he wants to spend the rest of his life writing, pursuing a doctoral degree and farming.

“I won’t be contesting as Member of Parliament in the next year’s elections,” Banda, Nkhotakota North legislator since 1999 said.

He added: “I think I’ve had a successful career as a parliamentarian. I’ve worked and received immeasurable support from all the parties I’ve worked since 1999 (UDF and DPP).

Speaker Chimunthu Banda: Qutting politics

“It is time for me to wave bye to Malawi politics and do something else. I have to complete one of my three books expected to be published early next year, farm and do a doctorate degree.”

The former secondary school headmaster said it would be awkward for him to go back to parliament and sit as a mere parliamentarian.

“No. I think it wouldn’t be on. Let others come in and ply the trade,” he said. “You know I’ve been at the helm of the three branches of government – legislature. And, at one point I contested and lost for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidency but I failed. Enough is enough.”

But Banda said he is under intense pressure from his constituents who do not want him to quit.

“I’ve told my people about my decisions but they won’t take. I’m still talking with them and will communicate well before hand so that they have time to rope in a new person.”

Profile

Banda, presently one of the most disciplined and cleanest politicians in Malawi, was born in Chipembere village in the lakeshore district of Nkhotakota in central Malawi.

He received a Diploma in Education obtained from the University of Malawi. Subsequently he earned a Diploma in Education Management which he acquired from Brandon University.

In 1985-1999, he became a teacher at Nkhotakota Secondary School where he rose to the position of the Headmaster of the school. In 1993-1995, he became the Regional Publications Officer for the National Teachers Union of Malawi.

At the 1999 Malawian general elections, he was elected Member of Parliament for the Nkhotakota North Constituency and from August 1999 to September 2001, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment.

Between January 2000 to September 2001, he became Commissioner in the Parliamentary Service Commission and subsequently Minister of Mines, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs.

In 2004 he was appointed as the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture. He is also a former Minister of Energy and Mining that helped to secure the Paladin Energy mining deal with Goodall Gondwe.  He also served as Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs.

Chimunthu-Banda is married and has three children.

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