John Bande, a former cabinet minister, has made a resounding return to parliament in Tuesday’s election with a message that he will remain “pro-poor” and “development focused” in turning Blantyre City East Constituency for the best.
Prior to the elections, social media had allegedly indicated that Bande would be pulling out of the parliamentary race on health grounds.
In the letter, purportedly signed by him, Bande, who run as an independent, had asked his supporters to vote for his contender Alex Chimwala who was contesting on a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ticket.
Bande had immediately denounced the letter as “fake” adding that he was “in perfect health.”
Unofficial results indicate that Bande amassed 25 813 votes cast against Chimwala’s 6 479 who came second.
In an interview with Nyasa Times Friday, Bande, who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for the area until 2009, said he would be committed in ensuring that his constituency enormously benefits from the national cake.
Said Banda: “With our ward councilors and the constituency development committee we will soon be engaging each other to see what is most crucial for us and come up with mechanisms that can help out—especially amongst people that are living below the poverty line.
“Personally, I am immensely concerned with poverty levels in the constituency and in the areas of health, education, sanitation, women and youth empowerment. I will simply be continuing from where my team and I left some ten years ago.”
Mathias Bvulumende, a constituent, told Nyasa Times that Bande’s return to Parliament was inevitable saying most constituents were still nostalgic about his heart to see the area get better in all aspects when he served as parliamentarian a decade ago.
“Now that he is back, we are excited. I am sure that his absence from parliament has helped him understand and appreciate better our problems. We have confidence in him that he will deliver,” said Bvulumende.