Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has admitted meeting a number of people in the country including former cabinet minister, Sidik Mia, to join the party claiming the move is only for purposes of strengthening their structures.
In the last few days Chakwera and the MCP have intensively invaded the Southern Region where several quarters have seen him with Mia.
Speculations have arisen that Chakwera could be considering Mia for his running mate for the 2019 presidential elections as a replacement of Richard Msowoya, his current vice and Speaker of the National Assembly.
But Chakwera parried away the speculations, saying it was not about the issue of the running mate.
“I have asked him to join the party. He has not answered yet. It is not about the issue of a running mate,” Chakwera told Times TV on Saturday.
He said it way too early to be discussing the issue of running mate now.
“I am not searching for a running mate. There is time,” said cool and composed opposition leader.
“I have asked Mia to join the MCP just as I have done with others. I am talking to so many people,” he said, adding: “I am hanging out with everyone in this country. Why should the issue of Sidik Mia be more important?”
Mia, who rose to the post of People’s Party (PP) vice president for the South in the President Joyce Banda administration, announced he had retired from active politics in 2014 – just before the country went to its first ever tripartite polls.
Rumours were that the former Chikhwawa Nkombezi legislator had been tipped to be running mate for Banda but the latter had settled for youthful Sosten Gwengwe.
Banda flopped in the elections, only trailing third.