The 2014 tripartite elections campaign period is not yet officially open but for one Noel Masangwi, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the South, the race has just began as he officially declared interest to challenge Minster of Mines, John Bande for Blantyre City East seat.
Masangwi, arrested last year and currently waiting to be formally charged at the Blantyre High Court in connection with the murder of Polytechnic student, Robert Chasowa, has started ground work in preparation to beat Bande to the polls.
He, aside setting up structures in the constituency to drum up support, has also started producing campaign materials such as calendars, leaflets, T-shirts bearing his face and DPP’s symbols.
In an interview, Masangwi, who was beaten by Henry Mussa for the position of DPP’s Treasure General daring April’s convention, said was more than ready to unseat Bande who has been a Parliamentarian for the constituency since 2004.
“I am more than ready. Without revealing my strategy, but I can confirm to you that I have already started making all the preparations to challenge for the seat. I will contest under DPP ticket,” said Masangwi.
He blushed off suggestions that it might be a tough ride against Bande who seem poised to retain the seat for another five-year term, arguing “I can be put off by mare talk. The real work is done on the ground and that where my votes will come from”.
Bande could not be reached for comment but unconfirmed reports suggest that he might change constituencies come 2014 and contest in his home district, Nsanje.