Bogus delegates at MCP Convention: Tembo opening speech silent on candidature

Tens of delegates to the long awaited Malawi Congress Party (MCP) convention were denied accreditation on their arrival in Lilongwe after they were alleged to be ‘bogus’ delegates.

Surprisingly, only a few hours later, most of the rejected delegates managed to find their way back into the system and got accredited while others were sent packing.

Some angry delegates were spotted outside the Natural Resources College campus, venue of the convention, trying to map the way forward on their fate.

“Some of these delegates have been taken to replace others who could not make it due to various reasons and we have tried to explain that,” claimed one male delegate who could not disclose his name.

Tembo at the opening of convention
Tembo at the opening of convention

As of 9:30pm, most of the delegates from the north, except Likoma had not yet arrived in Lilongwe for the indaba.

About 628 delegates in total are expected to the long awaited party indaba.

A statement issued by the incumbent party president John Tembo warned of stringent screening measures for all delegates to avoid what they described as ‘fake’ delegates.

At the convention, delegates are expected to elect party president who is also to steer the party through May, 2014 tripartite in Lilongwe where among others delegates are expected to elect party president.

Speaking when he opened the convention on Saturday, the 81-year-old Tembo was mum on his candidature as many expected him to announce whether he will stand or step-down.

Tembo called for peace and tranquility during and after the convention.

MCP is Malawi’s oldest political party and it goes into convention having twice been postponed citing reasons such as lack of funds and accommodation for the delegates.

The convention is expected to elect a president who will also lead the party in next year’s tripartite election as well as office bearers for other positions.  So far 12 candidates, including Tembo himself, will contest for the party’s presidency.

Other contestants are secretary general Chris Daza, former Malawi Assemblies of God president Lazarus Chakwera; retired Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo; former Cabinet Minister Jodder Kanjere; former secretary general Betson Majoni; MPs Edwin Banda (Nkhotakota central); Joseph Njobvuyalema (Lilongwe Mapuyu South); Watson Makala-Ngozo (Lilongwe Mpenu); former director of political affairs Eston Kakhome; former president of  Farmers Union of Malawi, Felix Jumbe; and former MP Lytton Dzombe.

MCP delegates in convention hall
MCP delegates in convention hall
Die hard MCP supporter
Die hard MCP supporter
MCP supporters waiting for the outcome of the convention
MCP supporters waiting for the outcome of the convention

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