AFORD fills vacant leadership positions, convention December

In an effort to rebrand itself ahead of the expected 2014 tripartite elections, Malawi’s once mighty opposition party, Alliance for Democracy (AFORD), has finally settled to hold its long awaited national convention during the first two weeks of December, 2012.

This was agreed last Saturday during the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in the capital Lilongwe, according to a statement issued after the meeting.

During the meeting, the party also filled, in acting capacity, some vacant positions in the party’s leadership.

It also wholly supported and welcomed the appointments of its only two legislators and NEC senior members into President Joyce Banda’s cabinet.

Aford leader Gowa Nyasulu : Convention in December

The two are Enock Chihana, Youth and Sports Minister (Member of Parliament for Rumphi Central) and Khwauli Msiska, deputy minister for Economic Planning and Development and MP for Karonga Nyungwe.

However, the NEC members urged Chihana and Msiska to remain “steadfastly committed, dedicated and selfless” as they discharge their duties to the nation.

The vacant positions which were filled during the NEC meeting included that of 2nd Vice President which went to Christopher Richie, Publicity Secretary to veteran politician Dan Msowoya who will be deputized by Enita Njolwa.

Other appointments included Thokozani Chitanda Kadyamagazi as acting Director of Women’s Affairs with Memory Kumwenda as her deputy while Liness Chirwa was appointed acting Organising Secretary.

The position of acting Regional Chairman for the South went to Otis Fenton Makhungwa with a Mr. Banda, currently the district Secretary for Mzimba Hora, being appointed acting Regional Chairman for Chikangawa region.

According to the statement signed by Msowoya, NEC also appointed a seven-member national convention organising committee to overseer the preparations of the indaba which will he headed by the newly appointed 2nd Vice President, Richie.

Msowoya said on discussion table, under the Chairmanship of their President Dindi Gowa Nyasulu, were also issues of national importance.

He said the NEC “noted with great satisfaction government’s efforts and commitment in addressing the difficult economic situation through the newly launched Economic Recovery Plan [EPR] and the subsequent consultations with the general public on implementation of the same.”

The meeting also resolved to continue offering constructive criticism to government as the party’s contribution towards making a better democratic Malawi.

AFORD, widely acknowledged to have led the way for the country’s democracy under its founding leader Chakufwa Thom Chihana, lost its 2nd Vice President, Chinkhokwe Banda to the ruling Peoples’ Party (PP) early this month.

The once forceful AFORD, which swept all the seats in the Northern Region during the country’s first democratic polls, has increasingly become weak ineffectual since the death of its founding president in June 2006 due to brain cancer.

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