Chakwera says God to guide his political career: ‘Malawi Congress Party will rebrand’

Malawi Assemblies of God president Reverend Dr Lazarus Chakwera said God is going to guide him as he competes for the leadership of opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP)  at the forthcoming convention later this month.

Chakwera in a rare radio interview told private broadcaster Zodiak on Wednesday that his ambitions to contest for the former MCP leadership will be guided by God, saying in Him “everything is possible.”

“God is the one who sets leaders up pull leaders down,” said Chakwera, disclosing that the National Executive Committee of Malawi Assemblies of God, the board of Elders of International Christian Assembly (ICA) and his family are supportive of his political involvement.

“The future of the church is so bright so that the movement can continue,” he said. “I have people that will take this movement into greater heights.”

Rev Chakwera: Joins front-line politics
Rev Chakwera: Joins front-line politics

The respectable church leader insisted that he has the credentials to represent a new face of hope and the future that Malawians need.

He refused to rate himself with other people aspiring to lead MCP.

“There is no way you can compare me to people who have taken MCP to where it is today,” said the well-known cleric educated in Malawi, South Africa and the United States.

The respectable ‘Man of God’ also appealed to Malawians to remove negative perception towards MCP, a party that ruled Malawi for over three decades under single-party dictatorship.

Chakwera said there is now a window of opportunity for MCP to rebrand itself to be in full tune with the democratic culture.

He further pointed out that MCP represents “the foundation upon which this nation was built.”

Chakwera denied rumors that MCP veteran politician and incumbent president John Tembo is the one who persuaded him to join the party.

Inspired by  icon former South African president Nelson Mandela,  Chakwera downplayed the  beliefs that for a person to rule a country in Africa needs to face jail on political reasons.

Chakwera, who hails from Malembo Village Traditional Authority Khongoni in Lilongwe district, said he is a family man. He is married to Monica Gondwe of Rumphi and his children married in Karonga and Thyolo

On his American accent, the 58-year-old religious leader said it was influenced by his early Peace Corps teachers way back in the 70’s.

Meanwhile, MCP national executive committee (Nec) has  reportedly proposed some amendments to the party’s constitution that aspiring office bearers in the party should be individuals with a “minimum five years membership and that any member of the party should be allowed to be president as many times as they can as long as they get elected at a legitimate convention.”

The move is seen by others as a deliberate ploy to bar Chakwera from contesting the party’s presidency while on the other hand accommodating Tembo, who is barred from contesting again for the same party position.

The party’s constitution allows MCP president to contest only for two terms on the party’s ticket as a presidential candidate in general elections; as such Tembo could not be allowed to contest for the party’s presidency once more as he vied for country’s presidency on the party’s ticket in 2004 and 2009 general elections respectively.

MCP Administrative Secretary Potipher Chidaya however argued that the proposed amendments -“which will either be confirmed or rejected by the convention” -are aimed at making MCP match with changing times.

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