Chakwera, Joyce Banda reaffirms MCP/PP alliance:  ‘Better deal’

Former president and  People’s Party (PP)  leader Joyce Banda has said they  have agreed to endorse Malawi Congress Party (MCP)  presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera in the May 21 Tripartite Elections  because MCP gives them a better deal than UTM party.

Leader of MCP Lazarus Chakwera and PP’s Joyce Banda at a joint news conference in Lilongwe on the recently announced partnership between the two parties

MCP-PP news conference in Lilongwe

Banda in February endorsed UTM Party presidential candidate Saulos Chilima but the outfit unceremoniously pulled out from a three-day electoral partnership which saw the former presenting nomination papers to run in the presidential race until she withdrew last week to back MCP.

Addressing a news join news conference  with MCP’s Chakwera at Golden Peackock Hotel in Lilongwe on the recently announced partnership between the two parties, JB, as Banda is widely known by her initials, had been negotiating a possible partnership with Chakwera since 2015, a year after she was voted out in the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections.

She said she has been meeting MCP leadership for a long time to have electoral combination since their manifesto have a lot of similarities.

“I have been having meetings with Chakwera and [Sidik] Mia since 2015…. I endorse Chakwera because our manifestos are the same,” said Banda.

Asked by reporters on what picture is being painted after PP had endorsed UTM earlier and then now MCP, Banda said she had always favoured MCP alliance but took the matter to party national executive committee (NEC) to decide.

She said the party has agreed first to support UTM and she informed Chakwera who told her: “God time is best. I don’t know when and why but I am convinced we will work together.”

Banda said before they had drawn up a memorandum of understanding with UTM, the PP were discouraged with a lot of mist in the partnership which made them cut ties.

“PP never signed a MoU with UTM, so we finally opted for MCP,” she said.

Banda stressed that MCP gives them “a better deal” than UTM.

“This is a ngwirizano [an alliance] in real sense,” she said.

Banda maintained that at  68 years old  she has  done her  part for her country for 35 years including  running for the development agenda,  a Cabinet minister, vice president and president of the country, saying it’s time to pass the torch to new leaders who will take Malawi forward with development for the many and not just for a few.

She said the decision is aimed at uplifting Malawi from the economic doldrums and quagmire rather looking at what is in this deal for Malawians.

“Thus we make our interests subservient to the interests of all the 18 million Malawians, 16 million of whom live in abject poverty in a country where every citizen should enjoy the benefits of our hard won freedom and not just the privilege few,” she said.

Banda touted Chakwera as a good leader Malawi needs to move forward.

“I have always believed this is a good leader that I can work with,” said Banda.

Pressed by a journalists if the change of heart from endorsing Chilima to backing Chakwera would mean betrayal, Banda said: “When it comes to Malawians am going to take any risks – even if it backfires –  as long as am convinced in my heart this is the benefit of ordinary Malawians I am going to take that risk.”

In his remarks, Chakwera commended Banda for the decision to back MCP, which also had Freedom Party of former vice president Khumbo Kachali in the electoral combination.

Chakwera said the decision is indeed for the good for the country.

He said there is power in unity and that the alliance will be a sure win for the opposition block.

In the arrangement, the parties are expected to drum up support for presidential candidate Chakwera during their political rallies but will contest separately from MCP in the parliamentary race.

Ernest Thindwa, a political scientist at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College  welcomed the MCP-PP alliance saying it would boost the popularity of  Chakwera  to defeat the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) during the polls.

“These elections are likely to be very close, the margin of victory will be very slim and any extra vote to any party is significant. If MCP and PP were to support one candidate, then MCP will have struck a good deal because they have the potential to win the election and if they can acquire extra vote, that will be significant,” said Thindwa.

In a survey to gauge perceptions ahead of the elections conducted by Zomba-based Institute of Public Opinion and Research (Ipor) between August and September 2018, respondents gave DPP 33 percent chance of winning, MCP was given 31 percent and UTM, which was barely two months old at the time received 17 percent while PP got a six percent rating. But with the partnership, a combined MCP and PP brings, on paper, about 37 percent.

About 6.59 million voters are expected to vote this year, with over half of the eligible voters being youths and women.

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Mabuku akale
Guest
Mabuku akale

Chibwezi cha khumba ndi Khotsa chonyambitana kuphazi

Gerald Mapanga Phiri
Guest
Gerald Mapanga Phiri

I remember there was a lot of story that Joice Banda is in exile running away from prosecution. Now is in her country nothing happens. Which means it proves that Joice Banda is innocent it’s just a politics to make her dirty. Now she endorsed opposition, the same people making noise before are crying foul

Mavuto
Guest
Mavuto

former president Banda and former VP kachali seem to not realise how far they have fallen?

Elikana mmbaya
Guest

Mwauponda

Wiseman
Guest
Wiseman

Masteni akufuna chiyani kwenikweni? Dzana dzanali amayamikila chilima lero chakwera mawa tiyeni tidikire chifukwa malipoti osatsimikizika akuti azapanganso endosi munthu wina pa 18 May 2019. Nde osawombela mmanja msanga.

Khama Ernie Sambo
Guest
Khama Ernie Sambo

Anena kuti she take risks when it comes to interests that concerns Malawians. She refused to cover up Cashgate even though experts warned it will cost her presidency. You see the integrity in amama?

Malawi wanga
Guest
Malawi wanga

Hahahahaha my friend Cashgate was not discovered by Joyce Banda, anaulula zoti Mphwiyo waomberedwa chifukwa cha Cashgate sianali Joyce Banda, ndalama zimapezeka mu mabuti amagalimoto aanthu samakazipezako ndi Joyce Banda sawoneke freedom fighter lero chifukwa Cashgate inamuluzitsa zisankho

Heavyduty
Guest
Heavyduty

Has a deal with a thief ever been any better? Guys, what is this that we are hearing, I can’t believe my ears.

Gust
Guest
Gust

The flood gates of CASHGATE are now wide open, Mr Chakwera mwapusisidwa ndi Jezebel

Gust
Guest
Gust

You did’nt sign a MOA with UTM but you went running to BBC for an Interview????? somebody is lying!!!

Khama Ernie Sambo
Guest
Khama Ernie Sambo

May be Chilima initiated it. Pajatu pomp akulu aja

zako
Guest
zako

but she is the one who gave the BBC interview right!

Apumbwa
Guest
Apumbwa

You are assuming that everybody in PP will vote for MCP, this statistical analysis is soooo fraud

Jezebel
Guest
Jezebel

Mr Chakwera you have just sold your soul to Jezebel, shame on you!

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